The Rethugs are acting like badasses again and threatening to shut down the government, destroy the economy and wreak whatever havoc is necessary upon our hapless nation unless President Obama yields to their will and throws social security under the bus. Sounds like the plot of an old time melodrama but in fact it’s just life in Washington DC these days.
The Prez, for his part, has said “no dice”. He will have no negotiations over raising the debt ceiling (which after all is NOT new spending, it’s just paying the bill for spending already incurred. By, you know, Congress.) Whether you believe the president or not depends pretty much on whether or not you believe his presidency has been just a series of betrayals of true progressives.
Some people just don’t even want to find out and are once again bringing up the alternative option of minting a one trillion dollar platinum coin, depositing it with the federal reserve then continuing to write the checks to keep the government going and, happily, *not* default on the public debt.
But can he even do that? Because it sounds pretty crazy. Apparently it’s the result of a law which allows platinum coins to be minted in any denomination. As has been pointed out, the purpose of the law was to make, and sell, commemorative and/or collectible coins. But still, it says what it says.
Paul Krugman, for one, thinks that we not only can mint that coin but should mint that coin. And let’s face it, he’s no light weight on matters fiscal.
Should President Obama be willing to print a $1 trillion platinum coin if Republicans try to force America into default? Yes, absolutely. He will, after all, be faced with a choice between two alternatives: one that’s silly but benign, the other that’s equally silly but both vile and disastrous. The decision should be obvious.
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.
Via MaddowBlog: FL Senator Marco Rubio told a huge whopper on Twitter:
Rubio is marginally more intelligent than the average tea party loon, which is why, although he was happy to ride their Cap’n Crunch coattails to the US Senate, he is careful to keep them at arm’s length. That may come in handy for him.
Rubio’s party doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the deficit the tea party idiots are howling about; Rubio’s party wants to continue looting the US Treasury on behalf of Mitt Romney’s class. To do so, Rubio’s party needs to destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and any other social program that implies by its existence that corporations and the plutocrats who run them have an obligation to the country.
Rubio doesn’t have a problem with his party’s objectives, but he does have an optics issue, in that he represents a state with a significant number of senior citizens who will be cheesed off if Rubio’s party—led by the tea party nuts—continues to champion cuts in social programs to ensure that Mitt Romney pays less than 14% a year in taxes on his investment income.
There’s no rational case Rubio can make to his constituents on why they should favor screwing themselves to shovel largess to multimillionaire dancing horse hobbyists. So Rubio will just try to bluff his way through this conundrum with big fat lies and hope it blows over before he’s up for reelection.
Will people be dumb enough to fall for that? Could be! This is Florida, after all. But there’s some evidence to suggest that there’s a limit to the stupid.
Just about every outlet runs a recap of the year at this point in the calendar, so I figured I’d join ‘em.
After the fold and in the subsequent parts you’ll find a whizz through the highlights and lowlights of the year I’ve chosen to cherrypick from the pages of Rumproast, along with some nominees for Headline of the Month. All this is obviously open to debate and I’m sure there are plenty of folks who’ll disagree with my choices in what is of necessity a very sketchy and superficial skim of 2012’s themes. If so, feel free to pipe up in the comments.
Reflecting back on the year that was, I think it’s apt the the post-election season seems to have provided the liberal blogger so many gifts. Things like this New York Magazine story about the National Review cruise, rich with detail that keeps the shaden right on freuding. It’s a stocking stuffed with images of the clueless, the bitter, the regretful, and ruminations on the unbearable whiteness of being Mitt Romney. For that matter, this tasty tidbit served up by Romney Number One son, Tagg, is fascinating as a psychological study despite its brevity for the depths it possibly reveals—
Is it possible Mitt Romney did not really want to be president? How does one run for about seven years without actually wanting to be president? He faced a contentious field in not one, but two primaries. He fund raised, he fibbed, he glad-handed, he glibbed, in short, he gave every indication to the outside world that, why yes, he might very much like to live in the White House (not that this is necessarily synonymous with being president). And yet he did not win, and his campaign was not run very well. Who knows what this explains?
Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.
At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”
“You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.”
reads just a bit like wish-fulfillment (although my post had to do with a Mitch McConnell viewpoint-correction—which may well be coming, yet).
Huh. It’s Obama’s fault that Boehner can’t get the votes to do shit. So what happened on Thursday?
Well, he tried to get his guys to vote on a “Plan B” that was stuffed with things they should have liked. And they said “No.” Santa Boehner promised them a Christmas Tree, and didn’t get any cookies and milk in return. Thankless, this being Speaker of the House business. Is there any answer to his Yuletide dilemma, besides “ho,ho,ho”? his way out of it, and try to make the deal a) sweeter to his non-coalition (tick tock) and b) totally unacceptable to the House Dems, the Senate, and the White House, completely revealing who is the problem around here? (And that’s actually probably his best choice if he likes this job?)
Or should he just toss the whole thing in the fuck-it-bucket with some ice and prosecco, say “shaft the speakership”, and let Obama deal with a new congress, (which I bet Obama already has plans to do)? (That would be an excellent “Take this job and shove it” option, and ideal in the face of what looks like a “no-confidence” vote.)
The sad thing was, Boehner’s gambit actually was a bid to get some leverage by saying he could get something done—if the White House and Senate would just work with what the House agreed to. Not getting that, his road ahead looks pretty rugged. It looks even crappier if one paid attention to his very short Wednesday presser.
No, it’s actually just a stinger scene from Trey Stone and Matt Parker’s X-rated comedy classic Orgazmo. In it, Parker’s character Elder Young is mistaken by porn film producer Maxxx Orbison for that famous hunka-hunka burning love memorialized by Elvis Presley (or was that William F. Burroughs?). In the same dangerous moment of misinterpretation Young’s junior missionary partner Ben Chepleski (Dian Bachar) is errantly ascribed the cheerful disposition and dual-purpose plumbing gear you’d expect from a fishnet-stockinged Robin.
Enjoy! If you get time and the opportunity, please treat yourself to three other South Park movies—Cannibal, The Musical; Team America: World Police; and South Park—Bigger, Longer, And Uncut.
The 2012 post-election implosion of the Republican Party is no longer news, it has now morphed into a sort of protracted anthropological study conducted by forensic squads of enquiring minds from all regions of the intellectual landscape.
We’re now at a stage that is like being forced to attend a family intervention on Superbowl Sunday. The pathetic yutz of a “guest of honor” wallowing in self-pity, anger and (worst case) withdrawal, while the rest of the family natters away frantically about self-help, tough love and family history. It’s a horror show, with no real winners or losers, that must simply be endured.
And, because we are “family” it is assumed that someday we will forgive and forget, but that’s a long way off . . .
During Day 35 of the GOP’s “WTF? We Lost” inquest, testimony was given by Indiana’s Richard Mourdock, a TEA Party Senate-wannabe who managed to lose a long-time, in-the-bag Republican Senate seat by ousting its long-time occupant, Sen. Dick Lugar and proceeding to make a World Class Ass of himself in a televised public debate.
Mourdock scored this coup by sharing his deeply held belief that rapes only happen because God wants them to, ergo the victims of rape should feel honored to carry their “little blessing” to term. (I paraphrased: BN)
Today, Mourdock explains that he lost his election, not because of the insanely idiotic thing that he said about rape, but because the dirty conniving ratbastards of the Librul Media reported it. Poor Richard is now left with no Senate seat, the scorn of his own party and a mountain of unpaid campaign bills. As a result, he was forced to go back to the well, one more time, for some post-campaign funding.
After a bitter, hard-fought campaign, many Republicans all over the country were forced to accept defeat rather than celebrate victory. In our case, we found our campaign caught in the liberal media crosshairs. Never has Indiana seen a more obvious example of media bias by reporters more interested in defeating conservatives than reporting the news.
We fought back and invested heavily in a last-minute push to combat the slew of false accusations Democrats and the liberal media churned up to distract voters.
“The slew of false accusations?” “churned up to distract voters?” Really??
Yousaid it, Champ, that’s all there is to it. If the press wasn’t hanging around to catch every pearl of wisdom that fell from your lips, you’d be screaming “bias.” You said it, they reported it. Granted it was idiotic, but you said it.
And it’s not as if this was the only stupid thing you said . . . there was also this, after you won the primary to oust Dick Lugar, who was not stupid:
the highlight of politics, frankly, is to inflict my opinion on someone else.
Wow! close call Hoosiers. Maybe someone could sit Mourdock down and explain what it is to be “hoist by one’s own petard.” Not that he’ll be running for any other office in the foreseeable future . . . and if you received one of those fund-raising letters, it probably means that you were clueless enough to donate to this chucklehead in the first place, so you can ignore all of the foregoing.
One of the BIG reasons that Republicans “Will Never Get Better” is their propensity for promoting nitwitty hacks who couldn’t hold their own in a high school debate club to positions of “thought leadership” in which they write “serious books,” post pseudo-intellectual op-eds for national publications and “win” fellowships to right-wing “think” tanks just like real people.
From those lofty perches, such bird-brains release their prodigious droppings into the idea stream from which the right-wingosphere drinks deeply. And so it goes . . .
One such avian diletante is Marc Thiessen whose bona fides include: a widely panned, book length apologia for the Bush administration’s propensity for torturing prisoners (Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack); a visiting “fellowship” at the American Enterprise Institute: and a regular gig hacking for the Washington Post, which appears to be helping Fred Hiatt immensely in his race to the bottom of the newspaper publishing heap.
Huh—for some reason, the Democratic president who won re-election—this first president since Eisenhower to win both his elections by 51% or more, wants to engage this fiscal cliff debate like a Democrat.
That’s because elections have consequences. Obama didn’t run on doing some big damn thing that wasn’t a part of his party’s platform, which has always been to protect entitlements. By derisively referring to the decision to restore the tax rates for the higher 2% earners to Clinton-era levels a “small ball”, Graham is not just engaging in an unfortunate double-entendre to imply that Obama’s figurative “balls” could be bigger, but is also reminding us that those rates that the Republicans want to make their line in the sand for the upper-income folks?
Ain’t no big. It’s what rich folks were paying before the Bush tax cuts went into effect and the economy was not doing poorly, then.
What Graham’s team is playing with, though, post-fiscal cliff issue, is a “big”. Not raising the debt ceiling is akin to saying we aren’t paying the bills. The lights get shut off and the phone doesn’t work. He’s talking government shut-down.
Seriously? We’re talking Clinton-era rates on the wealthy (who aren’t going to be hand-to-mouth if they pay a higher marginal rate, what?) vs actually shutting down the government, like Gingrich an’em did. How did they do in 1998? Exactly. What was it some Spanish dude said—those who don’t remember the past….?
I can’t talk enough about how disappointing Lindsey Graham is being. Really—you want someone to pay attention to you? Resign. Quit the damn Senate, go on a reality show or something. But this irresponsible talk is conduct unbecoming a respected Senator. He has got to know better than this.
But regarding the government shutdown/denying there is a debt ceiling mandate shit—glory days. Yeah, they’ll pass you by, glory days. In the wink of a young girl’s eye, glory days—glory days, amirite? Seriously GOP—get over it. Reagan will come back no more, and the Gingrich lies ready for the Green Room and dreaming. Your time is not yet and the stars aren’t right. Please to kindly not eat the American soul because you’re feeling all nostalgic.
The guy, above, is Dick Armey who’s spent decades as an inside-the-Beltway, Clinton-era Republican big deal emeritus until a freak lightening bolt on I-495, knocked him off his ass and, after a decade of political irrelevance, Armey was reborn as a grassroots activist.
Until recently, Armey held sway over the FreedomWorks TEA Party candidate factory where he juiced his retirement account with enormous consulting fees. Now that Armey has become irrelevant again, FreedomWorks has set him loose with a golden paraglider.
Nevertheless, old political pro that he is, Armey has a few “lessons-learned” for the Republican Party because he’s still a patriot at heart.
Armey shared his prescriptions on today’s broadcast of CBS This Morning (guess he’s been demoted from Sunday Morning to Monday Morning). According to Armey, the GOP’s biggest problem is “The stupidity, Stupid!” He went on to say that it’s the party’s job to support and train candidates (like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, perhaps) to keep their stupid thoughts to themselves in order to become stupid office-holders.
Now I could have told the GOP that for a lot less than $8 million but, evidently the problem is even bigger than I thought because the guy who’s delivering the message thinks this:
One of the things that we see as we look at Glenn Beck’s work that’s been fascinating to me, is we see a more true and accurate history of the United States, and we see it documented at levels of rigor that, in fact, one would expect out of Ph.D. dissertations — it is serious, scholarly work….[Liberal critics] don’t have to argue with Glenn Beck. They have to argue with his documentation and they can’t match that level of rigor.
Our hens raided the container garden during their free-range jaunt yesterday:
I never participate in the garden threads because my husband does every bit of the gardening around here. I couldn’t even grow a Chia pet or keep an air fern alive.
Anne Laurie’s early morning open thread featured the image of commenter Hitchhiker’s lovely cat in front of a Christmas tree. But instead of going, “Awwwww,” I went, “Sweet mother of fuck! It’s almost Christmas, and I haven’t done a damn thing!”
My fake tree and all the decorations are still in the shed. I haven’t ordered the Christmas dinner prime rib yet. We haven’t even quite wrapped up our kitchen renovations (although it’s mostly done – we lack cabinet toe-kicks and the backsplash only at this point), and our dining room still sports a bare concrete slab as we haven’t gotten around to laying the tile. Oh, and I haven’t bought the first present yet.
Why? Well, the home renovations have become a convenient excuse for being slobs. Why bother dusting or sweeping when there’s 70s-era glue on the walls where we ripped out the old laminate backsplash and bare concrete underfoot? We’ve actually enjoyed the respite.
As for the lack of Christmas spirit, it just doesn’t seem Christmas-y yet, partly because it’s been so warm. I’m a native Floridian, so warm Decembers aren’t a foreign or unwelcome concept to me. But it does seem unusual to get this far towards the solstice without once having to put on a pair of socks or rifle the closet for a jacket. There have been a few flannel-shirt-over-the-tee-shirt days, but I haven’t had to bust out the woolies. Nonetheless, there is work to be done.
Romneys Spread Loser Stink
Speaking of indolent people, Mitt and Ann Romney are continuing their loser tour. Noted fans of “sport,” the Romneys took in the Pacquiao-Marquez boxing match last night:
I don’t follow boxing, but I think Pacquiao was favored to beat Marquez. That was before Romney visited Pacquiao in his dressing room, exuding a giant cloud of loser dust:
“Hello Manny. I ran for president. I lost,” Romney told the fighter, according to Pacquiao publicist Fred Sternburg.
Then this happened:
“LAS VEGAS — Manny Pacquiao never saw it coming. He never saw the punch that snapped his head back Saturday and dropped him to the canvas and left him sprawled there momentarily, face down, while his wife sobbed uncontrollably and the packed crowd at MGM’s Grand Garden Arena rose to its feet in shock.
With that, a rivalry known for its lack of a definitive triumph suddenly had the most definitive ending of them all.”
I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really hope Mitt and Ann Romney decide to pay the Notre Dame locker room a visit prior to the BCS title game.
Speaking of Losers
Remember the group One Million 51,700 [homophobic] Moms (OMM)? No? Me neither, but this spring, they failed spectacularly in a bid to get Ellen Degeneres fired as JC Penney spokesperson. After that effort flopped, OMM director Monica Cole announced that the breeder klatch was “moving on.”
But a JC Penney commercial featuring Ellen and several Christmas elves attracted their ire again last week.
It wasn’t that Ellen groped a female elf in the ad or anything. It’s just that everyone knows she’s a lesbian, and think of the chiiiiildren!
Because the commercial that occasioned the protest was so innocuous, onlookers found the OMM action confusing. (Pro tip: When you have to explain why you’re taking umbrage, you’re not successfully inciting it.) So OMM declared that the group is “moving on.” Again. Maybe someday they actually will.
So I see Charlie Crist made it official. Color me unsurprised. Crist wasn’t a terrible governor. Unlike the evil rat-bastard who succeeded him, Crist actually viewed voting as a right even for non-Republicans and expanded ballot access during his tenure, measures that were rolled back by the aforementioned rat-bastard.
Crist was on the non-lunatic side during the shameful Terri Schiavo circus. He sided with teachers against the bill backed by edu-corp vultures like his former boss Jeb(!). And of course, Crist campaigned hard for Obama and might have actually made a difference in the squeaker outcome here in Florida.
Would Crist be a huge improvement over current Governor Voldemort should he choose to run against The Dark Lord in 2014? Well, yes. As far as we know, Crist doesn’t store his fragmented soul in a series of hidden Horcruxes, and he’s never delivered a State of the State address in Parseltongue.
But does anyone doubt for a second that if Crist had beaten Rubio in the GOP primary and become Republican Senator Crist, he would have been campaigning his ass off for Romney this year? Of course he would have. He’s not really a Democrat; he’s an opportunist.
Scott is less popular in Florida than citrus canker, so it seems like this would be an ideal opportunity to run an actual, honest-to-god Democrat for the state’s top office. But given the state of the Florida Democratic Party, Crist is probably the best we can hope for. I’ll damn sure vote for him if it comes to that.