Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On The Internets 07.28.2010

  • It's deja vu all over again! Republican members of Congress caught - drunk - partying with corporate lobbyists. Once again, it has gotten so bad that Minority Leader John Boehner is trying to take steps to prevent this from becoming a full-blown scandal. "Washington is abuzz with rumors of late-night partying and of House Republicans inappropriately hanging out with female lobbyists. But not everyone was taken by surprise. Minority Leader John Boehner has been working behind the scenes to address the issue for at least the past year and a half. The Ohio Republican has had private conversations with several lawmakers asking them to curb their inappropriate behavior.." Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), who just so happens to my Congressman (oh, I am soooo proud) was singled out for his obnoxiousness. Rupert Murdoch's New York Post had the following item on Terry, "GOP Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska -- who's in a tough race against Democratic opponent Tom White -- was witnessed by Page Six in close conversation with a comely lobbyist at the Capitol Hill Club in DC recently. 'Why did you get me so drunk?' Terry asked the giggling woman, among other personal remarks. When Terry realized he was sitting near a reporter, he quickly changed the topic of conversation to his three children and the struggle to pay their college tuition." Classy, Lee. Classy. What is equally hilarious, in a sad way, is that Terry has been in Congress for 12 years, and to my knowledge, this is the first time he has ever made national news. Terry is not attached to any significant piece of legislation or initiative, is not highly ranked on any significant committee, and has no leadership role whatsoever. When you google "do nothing Congressman," you will see his picture. Go ahead and try it.
  • Nebraska made the national news in another way when the small city of Fremont, Nebraska passed its own version of the Arizona anti-immigrant law. After the controversial law was passed, the lawsuits and protests began. In fact, there is a benefit this Saturday to raise money for the Nebraska ACLU to fight the law in court (the "Concert For Equality" features Bright Eyes, Cursive, and the reunions of both Desaperacidos and Lullaby For the Working Class). Last night, the city of Fremont suspended the law until the lawsuits can be settled. "The Fremont City Council voted Tuesday night to suspend its controversial immigration ordinance until lawsuits challenging it are resolved. No council debate or sparks preceded the 8-0 vote that took place before a packed council chamber holding about 80 spectators. Several police officers were stationed at entrances." The court process could take several years before it is finally resolved, however the suspension could be undone whenever the council wants to.
  • So much for freedom of speech in the state of Arizona. Notorious Mericopa Country Sheriff Joe Arpaio has said that anyone caught utilizing their constitutionally protected right to protest the Arizona anti-immigrant law will be arrested on site. The Sheriff told ABC's Good Morning America that he is "not going to put up with any civil disobedience." I guess he is also not going to put up with the US Constitution's 1st amendment, either.
  • This is almost (almost) too funny to be true, but apparently, it is. A 2007 parody video by The Onion has been getting posted on a number of tea party and conservatives' Facebook pages and passed off as real. The video shows a fictional member of Congress talking about a new bill that was set to initiate martial law. The member kept pointing out that portions of the bill were classified. This set off a firestorm of teabaggers going on an on about their rights being taken away. Here is the video:
  • Back in the real world, a new Pew Research Center poll reveals that the American public believes that the economic policies put forth by President Obama offer a better chance at improving the economy than returning to the Bush policies being promoted by the current crop of Republicans vying to take control of Congress. "According to the latest Society for Human Resource Management/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, conducted with the Pew Research Center, 46 percent said Obama's path would do more to improve economic conditions in the next few years, compared to 29 percent who said policies put in place by Bush would." So much for the Bush comeback...
  • Martin Wolf at Financial Times has written an excellent column dissecting the fraudulent scheme known as supply side economics. "My reading of contemporary Republican thinking is that there is no chance of any attempt to arrest adverse long-term fiscal trends should they return to power. Moreover, since the Republicans have no interest in doing anything sensible, the Democrats will gain nothing from trying to do much either. That is the lesson Democrats have to draw from the Clinton era’s successful frugality, which merely gave George W. Bush the opportunity to make massive (irresponsible and unsustainable) tax cuts. In practice, then, nothing will be done....Since the fiscal theory of supply-side economics did not work, the tax-cutting eras of Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush and again of George W. Bush saw very substantial rises in ratios of federal debt to gross domestic product. Under Reagan and the first Bush, the ratio of public debt to GDP went from 33 per cent to 64 per cent. It fell to 57 per cent under Bill Clinton. It then rose to 69 per cent under the second George Bush. Equally, tax cuts in the era of George W. Bush, wars and the economic crisis account for almost all the dire fiscal outlook for the next ten years (see the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)."
  • Even though I am not from California, recent polling data on the race for governor there put a smile on my face. Democrat Jerry Brown is now beating Republican Meg Whitman in every major poll. Whitman has spent over $90 million of her own money on the campaign so far, and it turns out that Californians don't really like the idea of a multi-millionaire trying to buy a Senate seat. 52% of Californians said yes when asked "Do you think there should be a legal limit on how much money a candidate can donate to his or her own campaign?" Only 33% said no.
  • Fox News' Bill O'Reilly is now in favor of ending Don't Ask Don't Tell. In an appearance on Jay Leno the other night, O'Reilly wondered why President Obama doesn't just end the policy himself. Now that an overwhelming number of members of the military support doing away with DADT, it seems O'Reilly is finally ready to acknowledge the ridiculousness of the policy. "Well I don’t get it. President Obama has the power to stop this Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell business. Just sign an executive order. I don’t know why it’s taking so long...It's just not fair," he said. Scary to think O'Reilly is the voice of reason at Fox News...
  • The Democratic National Committee has unveiled its first ad of the campaign season. The DNC strategy is to tie the Republican Party to the extreme and out of the mainstream views of the tea party. I think it's a smart strategy, but this ad is a tad boring. Republicans have perfected the attack ad, and perhaps the Dems could learn a little something from them on this score. They have set up a new website utilizing this theme:
  • Late 70s/early 80s new wave hit makers The Cars are dabbling with the idea of a reunion. Cars mastermind Ric Ocasek posted a picture of himself and guitarist David Robinson together in the studio and captioned it "Anyone in the mood for a reunion by The Cars?" My answer is no. The Cars were a great studio band and have loads of excellent songs, but they were a terrible live band (I saw 'em in 1984). Plus, bassist/vocalist Ben Orr died ten years ago, so who will sing "Candy-O" "Drive" or any of the classics that he sang?
  • I haven't had time to post anything on the season 4 premiere of Mad Men that occurred last Sunday night. The series has advanced about a year in time, so I think they are now at Thanksgiving 1964. The season is off to a great start. The Daily Beast interviewed series creator Matthew Weiner and got his thoughts on the first episode.


T. Paine said...

It is amazing the propensity for the left to take things out of context or flat out lie.

Arpaio is NOT curbing free speech. He said he will arrest anyone engaged in civil disobedience such as blocking streets or creating a security hazard around the Maricopa County Jail.

Pew poll, huh? We have the whole 20th century that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that progressive socialist programs weaken or destroy nations, often times with human rights trangressions being committed in their name. I have to hope and assume that the American public is not that stupid and that this poll was an aberation of a poor sampling of idiots.

Funny how Mr. Wolf forgets the part that supply side econmics actually INCREASED federal receipts to the treasury. It was the lack of cutting in spending by Democrats in congress (notwithstanding the wanna-be Dems under W. Bush). It doesn't matter if you make $5 trillion if you are going to spend $10 trillion.

If Jerry Brown wins governor in California, America will absolutely be paying for the bankruptcy of the state within a decade.

The repeal of DADT is a travesty and most military members are NOT in favor of such an action. O'Reilly is wrong on this issue.

That ad is great! The GOP should co-opt it and run on that exact platform. The landslide victory they would receive would be of Mondale-like proportions!

Dave Splash said...

No, Paine, what's amazing is how when liberals protest something, they are dangerous and need to be arrested. Or they hate the troops, or America itself. Yet, when conservatives protest something - even their delusional, paranoid, and baseless claims about the government - they are to be treated as patriots expressing their constitutional rights. Arpaio is a lying scumbag, who targets his political opponents and anyone who disagrees with him for arrest. That is his nature.

Actually, the 20th century shows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Americans prosper under Democratic administrations and only the wealthy do under Republicans. I know in the Glenn Beck history revisionism course you are taking it says otherwise, but facts are facts. Hell, Jimmy Carter's administration created more jobs in his four years than George W did in 8 years.

Your facts are just wrong regarding supply-side, voodoo economics. All honest economists know and acknowledge the basic facts that any revenue increase was not enough to cover the massive deficits incurred by reducing the amount of taxes coming in. Deficits began to explode under Reagan and Bush, were drastically reduced under Clinton, and then exploded again under W. Conservatives claim they care about deficits, yet they always increase under conservative governments. The right cares more about tax cuts for their millionaire donors than they do for deficit reduction. Every major Republican has agreed with that sentiment this week in the debates over extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. None of them want to offset the trillions in increased deficits, they just want to cut taxes for their friends.

Check your facts on DADT. Overwhelming majorities do support the repeal.

Look, I get it. Inside the conservative bubble, you are told that reducing taxes for millionaires somehow increases revenue, that gays will destroy the military, that only liberals cause deficits, that liberals are against civil and human rights, that when liberals utilize their freedom of speech it is un-American, that Pres. Obama is a Nazi, that Sarah Palin has the knowledge level to be president and it was the media that "forced" her to resign, that only Democrats engage in corrupt activities, that the country wants a return to the Bush years, and that whites are oppressed in America. In the real world, however, none of that is true.

I suggest you step outside of the bubble for a day or so.

Dave Splash said...

And either you trust polling data as a reflection of American opinion, or you don't. You can't simply dismiss any poll that doesn't reflect your personal opinion, and tout the results of those that do.

For example, you have consistently claimed that most Americans oppose the health care reform law passed last year, yet a new poll conducted by the Kaiser Foundation, shows support at 50%, while only 35% oppose. That opposition has dropped six points in just one month. Nearly every poll out there reflects the same thing.

Wall Street reform is favored by an even larger number, yet the Republicans, on mass, opposed it. Polling data shows that more than 60% favor letting the portions of the Bush tax cuts that benefit the top 1% of Americans be allowed to expire. Republicans keep claiming Americans support them on the issue, yet they don't. An even higher supported extending unemployment benefits even though it would increase the deficit. Republicans opposed.

Sorry, but take away the 2-3 million people who religiously watch Fox News and listen to Limbaugh, most Americans support the policies of the Democrats on the economy, Wall Street, health care reform, and fair tax policies. Deny it if you want to, but regardless of the outcome of the midterms, Obama will be re-elected in 2012, and will ultimately be credited for saving the economy from the disaster the Republicans left it in.