Archive for August 1, 2011
If you have kids and/or grand kids and you care about their future, IMHO it would behoove you to read both of these articles in full:
Debt Ceiling Deal: The Democrats Take a Dive, by Matt Taibbi; one of the greatest writers of our time:
For evidence, all you have to do is look at this latest fiasco.
The Republicans in this debt debate fought like wolves or alley thugs, biting and scratching and using blades and rocks and shards of glass and every weapon they could reach.
The Democrats, despite sitting in the White House, the most awesome repository of political power on the planet, didn’t fight at all. They made a show of a tussle for a good long time — as fixed fights go, you don’t see many that last into the 11th and 12th rounds, like this one did — but at the final hour, they let out a whimper and took a dive.
We probably need to start wondering why this keeps happening. Also, this: if the Democrats suck so bad at political combat, then how come they continue to be rewarded with such massive quantities of campaign contributions? When the final tally comes in for the 2012 presidential race, who among us wouldn’t bet that Barack Obama is going to beat his Republican opponent in the fundraising column very handily? At the very least, he won’t be out-funded, I can almost guarantee that.
And what does that mean? Who spends hundreds of millions of dollars for what looks, on the outside, like rank incompetence?
It strains the imagination to think that the country’s smartest businessmen keep paying top dollar for such lousy performance. Is it possible that by “surrendering” at the 11th hour and signing off on a deal that presages deep cuts in spending for the middle class, but avoids tax increases for the rich, Obama is doing exactly what was expected of him?
Did your congresscritter vote for the “bipartisan” (thanks Obama) debt ceiling “compromise” (thanks Obama)? Find out here.
Wow, this is great news: Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords paid a visit to the House of Representatives today:
(Screenshot from video via NBC.)
Good for her. Bravo Gabby!
What an inspiration.
Lying Billionaire Winger: Obama Hates America Because He Doesn’t Wear a Suit Jacket in the Oval Office Every. Single. Minute.
This would be Ken Langone, the co-founder of the Home Depot, on CNBC last Thursday:
“Let me make it very clear, and I’m sure I’m going to get a lot of hate mail because of this, and that’s okay,” Langone said. “I think our sitting president is acting so unpresidential …. He is dividing us as a nation. He is not bringing us together. He’s willfully dividing us. He’s petulant. …
“The reality is we believe in a government of three legs, all equal. So if (House Speaker John) Boehner and (Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid — well, Reid will do whatever (Obama) tells him — if Boehner had said I am not coming unless you speak to me in a respectful way, I am third in line to the president, (then I won’t come).
“Ronald Reagan would never go into the Oval Office without his jacket on — that’s how much he revered the presidency. This guy (Obama) worked like hell to be president, okay? He’s got it. Behave like a president.”
Langone isn’t exactly a spring chicken so you’d think he might have a smidgen of historical reference to draw on but I guess not. Let’s help him out.
Here’s Reagan not behaving like a president:
Ah! Say it ain’t so already. Here’s W being petulant:
Oops. Then again, facts be damned right?
I wonder if CNBC issued a correction. (Now that would be breaking news.)
OMG. This is pitiful:
Yesterday Newt Gingrich laid out a new argument for why he should be the GOP presidential nominee: He’s got the most Twitter followers. But according to a former Gingrich staffer, he bought them.
Gingrich complained yesterday that the press is ignoring his prodigious Twitter audience: “I have six times as many Twitter followers as all the other candidates combined, but it didn’t count because if it counted I’d still be a candidate; since I can’t be a candidate that can’t count.” Which is true! Gingrich currently boasts 1,325,842 followers, whereas competitors Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann have yet to crack 100,000.
But if Newt is winning the Twitter primary, it’s because of voter fraud. A former staffer tells us that his campaign hired a firm to boost his follower count, in part by creating fake accounts en masse.
While it would be impossible to survey all of Gingrich’s followers, a cursory glance immediately turned up a few accounts that featured odd names, no personal information, no followers, no posts, and a small follow list. And there’s certainly a healthy market out there for buying Twitter followers either by hiring a company to strategically follow accounts that will follow you back or by paying for dummy accounts. If Gingrich did goose his Twitter numbers, it would help explain why he has, for instance, more than twice as many followers as Sarah Palin, which just doesn’t sound right.
It’s bad enough that Gingrich’s Twitter following has more than likely been padded. What’s worse is what he said yesterday — whining that he isn’t getting enough attention because he has more twitter followers than the other kids on the playground. I mean, really?
MSNBC has hired the wonderful Chris Hayes:
The Nation’s Washington editor Christopher L. Hayes will join MSNBC as host of a new weekend morning show, MSNBC announced today. The new program will debut September 17, 2011. Further details about the program will be announced in the coming weeks. Hayes will remain at The Nation as its editor-at-large.
“When I hired Chris some thought it was a gamble, bringing on a 28-year-old to run the DC bureau. I knew then what so many have come to recognize—he was a star: an intellectual omnivore, a person of integrity, independent mind, with an unwavering commitment to journalistic excellence,” said The Nation‘s editor and publisher, Katrina vanden Heuvel.
Love that — He’s an “intellectual omnivore.” That’s for sure. He has an amazing brain.
Anyway, let’s hope he doesn’t get sucked into the insider hole, like they tried to do to Cenk Uygur.
This is so backasswards:
Popular energy and environmental programs should prepare for a decade of spending cuts under the debt deal reached late Sunday between the White House and congressional leaders.
Less clear, however, is the effect that the landmark agreement will have on popular tax incentives for the oil, gas, renewable and other energy industries.
Walsh predicted spending cuts for Energy Department programs dealing with fuel cells, biofuels, synthetic fuels, wind and nuclear power, as well as Army Corps of Engineers’s dredging, sea wall barriers and flood mitigation. The EPA’s regulatory arm probably will “take a whack” while across-the-board cuts in agency salaries would “shrink the overall footprint of the department,” he added.
Another clear target will be EPA grants that go out to wastewater, drinking water and pollution monitoring programs. “With infrastructure, we’re already in a big hole,” Walsh said. “But this isn’t going to help.”
What a disaster. This will push the US farther and farther behind the rest of the world which is moving head, developing the likes of solar, wind and high-speed rail.
This will also make it more likely we will go to war for oil (again) because we are tragically delaying weening ourselves off of it. And, if what I’m reading is accurate, the economy will suck for years to come (also thanks to Washington) and we won’t be able to afford another war but around and around we’ll go.
As an aside, check this out:
Patty Wade, a Reno businesswoman, is working on her own deal to get a Chinese company to make Northern Nevada its headquarters for assembling and distributing solar power system parts to markets in the United States and Canada.
“There aren’t too many funding sources that are real healthy right now. China is one of them,” said Wade, adding that Nevada’s low taxes, lack of regulation relative to California and proximity to West Coast markets appeal to Chinese companies.
“They are looking for fat profits and squeezing out all the risks that they can,” she said.
With the state working on reorganizing its economic development efforts to improve accountability and results, observers of the process say that if Nevada’s Chinese relationships produce jobs, concerns about political fallout will evaporate.
“Our first objective needs to be creating jobs in Nevada,” said Dan Hart, a consultant to Georgiou, the Senate candidate who was criticized for having Chinese business relationships.
“If the investment comes from China, so be it.”
The US government should be the one investing in Nevada, in solar and in jobs.
What we’re doing is crazy.
Here is a collage of Republicans defending raising the debt ceiling in 2002 and 2004 (h/t Think Progress). This is the same crowd that railed against raising it over the last couple weeks.