This was recorded a couple of weeks ago, but still timely and relevant IMHO! We talk about the Oscar Pistorius case and the connections to gun safety; suicide and how we wish Aaron Schwartz was still around; President Obama’s misinterpreted words on fathers in a speech in Chicago; single moms and the importance of role models.
The RSS Feed for the podcast is in the right column.
Sometimes it takes a really old politician who doesn’t quite have the talking points down in order to get honesty from the Republican party. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) let the truth spill out last week in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune. (emphasis mine)
“I’m for sequestration,” Hatch said, if Congress can’t cut spending. “We’ve got to face the music now, or it will be much tougher later.”
And in the very next paragraph, the Tribune offered this…
With across-the-board spending cuts set to kick in next week, Hatch said sequestration would lead to an economic disaster in Utah as two-thirds of civilians working at Hill Air Force Base would be furloughed. He said it would be “devastating to our nation’s readiness.“
Republicans are trapped inside a bubble of their own making. They keep breathing the fetid air inside the bubble and it clearly makes them crazy.
A little history for those who have lives and don’t follow all this political back and forth.
- Republicans held the economy hostage in the summer of 2011. Remember the first “debt ceiling crisis” that made the markets jittery and caused Standard and Poors to downgrade the U.S. credit rating for the first time in our history? I envy you if you don’t remember it. The ransom was basically the sequester and John Boehner bragged about getting 98% of what he wanted when it was over.
- The sequester was supposed to force Democrats and Republicans to come together (super committee) and solve the imaginary crisis that existed only in the minds of Republican politicians who thought that if they made the economy tank, they could somehow blame it on the one guy who the American people trust, President Obama. How did that work out for them on November 6, 2012?
- The super committee came and went with Republicans continuing their childlike ways, kicking and screaming on the floor, saying no repeatedly and whining like someone took their pacifier away at bedtime.
- Which brings us to the most recent debt ceiling crisis, because you know, nothing better to do. President Obama stood firm this time, fool me once…and Republicans folded like an origami swan. Well, actually, they punted and acted like children once again by just pretending like there is no debt ceiling until May 18th, 2012.
- And now we have dunt, duh duh….SEQUESTER. I like to refer to it as “John Boehner’s 98%” or “How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Sequester”.
And why on earth would the Republicans stick to this dumb ass tactic? So they can blame it all on President Obama. And Republicans were all excited when they got an assist from Bob Woodward, who in his insider wisdom, came up with a “moving goalpost” analogy that was crushed by several real journalists.
What a great plan, Republicans. Hurt your constituents, hurt the U.S. economy some more, make up a bunch of lies to cover your sorry asses and get the compliant and equally dumb ass media to play along with it. On Sunday morning, I stopped counting the word “blame” when I reached 15. The media likes playing the blame game just as much as the Republicans, commissioning polls to see who the public will “blame” when the cuts start hurting.
This is what passes for strategy in the Republican Party of 2013.
This latest podcast was recorded on January 23, 2013 and we cover a lot of ground, even though it is an abbreviated podcast (48 min). We talk it up on President Obama’s second inaugural address, the Republican whinefest that followed, the debt ceiling cave by the GOP, gun safety, the GOP’s attempt to cheat their way into the White House and Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the Republican clown posse. Click on that little triangle and give it a listen.
As the wheels on the Republican clown car keep flying off one at a time, our President and Vice President continue to prove that the Democratic Party is the only serious, adult political party in Washington these days. Even with the obstructionist GOP pulling every dirty trick in the book, the President and Democrats keep moving forward and fighting for all Americans.
I remember back to December of 2012 when Republicans started telegraphing their intention to try to use the debt ceilings as “leverage” to destroy the safety net that took generations to weave and I thought to myself that they clearly didn’t learn any lessons from the last election.
I laugh every time a Republican, or one of the media that parrots them, tries to make the lame ass argument that because the GOP retained control of the House, even though they lost seats, that somehow they won. Here is one example of that denial from Boehner the Blubberer…
“The American people want solutions, and tonight they responded by renewing our House Republican majority,” House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, who ran unopposed in his re-election bid, declared Tuesday night.
And of course Buzzfeed, a wannabe Politico, took the idiotic concept even further.
Americans, for all their griping, apparently really do prefer their government deeply divided and dysfunctional.
I almost feel silly spelling this out for people, but in our current state of political and media dysfunction, you really do have to spell it out in precise detail for the uninformed or Fox News brainwashed masses. We each vote for our individual representatives and senators and when the dust settles on the election, we find out which party came out ahead. I’ve never seen a line on a ballot that gave me the option of voting for who controls a branch of congress or a check box for “divided government”. It’s wherever the chips fall. It’s magical thinking to believe that somehow the American people coordinated their votes to reach an outcome.
I feel similar about the folks on the left saying that more people voted for Democrats than Republicans when you add up all the votes. Well, we don’t add up all the votes or if we do, it means absolutely nothing. I certainly agree with the people pointing out the gerrymandering that took place in order for Republicans to keep so many seats, but the fact that Democrats received more votes overall, shouldn’t be used in the same way Republicans are using the overall outcome in the House. Democrats should stick to the facts, we picked up seats in the House.
The changing metric of who won or lost an election in the Republican’s minds reveals just how pathetic they are. If the roles were reversed and Democrats retained the House while Republicans picked up seats, you know damn well that they would be saying they won because they picked up seats. The grasping for some kind of straw that they can use to say they won is comical to me and reveals just how easy it is to spin without push back.
This denial from the Republicans, which may be better described as a delusion, also makes them continue with the same crap that brought the American people out to smack them down on November 6th. The prime example is the Republican’s attempt to use the debt ceiling to take our economy hostage again. There is a huge difference between the 2011 debt ceiling crisis and the current one. In 2011, the Republican’s goal, as spelled out by many in the party, was to make President Obama a one term president at all costs. That included damaging the economy, preventing job growth and saying anything to mislead their voters and rile them up. And it was easy to get their partisans to go along with it, because after all, it served their prime goal.
When the idea of another hostage situation with the debt ceiling started creeping into the discussion before Christmas, I couldn’t believe that the Republicans would go there again. Not only is it idiotic for all the same reasons it was in 2011, but with the election behind us and the goal of defeating the President a mere memory of a wet dream, it raises the level of stupidity even higher. The President has played his hand masterfully. He is smart enough to know that the election is behind us and that Wall Street and big business is not into losing money unless it is planned for their benefit.
Newt Gingrich was one of the first in the GOP to point out the stupidity of the tactic and he is being joined by many others on the right side of the fence. Steve Benen gives us the latest defections from the stupid caucus…
Just today, Charles Krauthammer, a prominent conservative pundit, told Republicans they “won’t get” their ransom, they’ll have to “give in” eventually, and they should “forget about forcing tax reform or entitlement cuts or anything major.” Jennifer Rubin added, “The jig is nearly up…. [T]he threat of bumping up against the debt ceiling is not realistic and hence not useful.” [...]
It would probably be an overstatement to say Republicans are already surrendering, but let’s just say they’ve taken the white flag off the shelf, even if they’re not yet ready to wave it.
That said, it also appears the congressional GOP hopes to trade one hostage for another.
Even if Republicans now seem to realize they can’t follow through on their debt-ceiling threats — they really should have thought this through beforehand — GOP policymakers still appear committed to aggressive confrontations on automatic sequestration cuts and funding levels for the government itself.
Late Breaking News! While I was at lunch, apparently a new defection came to light that makes it inevitable that the GOP is going to cave on their idiotic ploy. Sen. John Cornyn made it quite clear in an interview with the Houston Chronicle…
“We will raise the debt ceiling. We’re not going to default on our debt,” Cornyn told the Houston Chronicle editorial board…. “I will tell you unequivocally, we’re not going to default,” Cornyn said Thursday.
Game, Set, Match!
My apologies for the late posting of this podcast which was recorded on November 14, 2012. It’s still worth a listen, Republican stupidity hasn’t gone away, that’s for sure. We listen to and talk about the great rant that Rachel Maddow did on the day after the election plus lots of other good stuff. Give a listen.
I love it when Soledad O’Brien gives the press a lesson on how to be a journalist and digs down deeper into the GOP’s idiotic arguments and faux outrage. The Republican party thinks that their audience is stupid and the vast majority of the press actually is stupid and lets politicians get away with the crap that McCain and Graham are attempting. The fact that while John McCain and Lindsey Graham were holding their very serious, cranked to 11, press conference screaming about not having information about Benghazi while other Senators were being briefed on the incident, pretty much says it all.
Watch as Soledad O’Brien and Charles Blow make Republican congressman Joe Heck look rather foolish and reveal how misguided the Republican attack on Ambassador Susan Rice is.
This was recorded on November 8, 2012, two days after the election. It marks the return of my insightful friend and colleague John to chat it up about the historic day of November 6, 2012. Topics include: The Fox News meltdown, the fun of watching it on the tube, looking forward and many other things. It’s a good one.
This clip is all kinds of awesome. You may have seen it in other places, but if not, this is my gift to you. If Republicans were smart, and most aren’t, they would listen to Rachel’s advice. Take it away Rachel…
I couldn’t be more proud of this great country of America on this November 7, 2012. It is a monumental day in our history.
Personally, I’m not letting anyone rain on my parade today, any negativity will be greeted with a smile and positive words about our future.
My granddaughter wants to thank you for giving her a shot at a future – a Supreme Court that will protect her rights and a world where she has the same opportunities as men.
Another great discussion with one of my smart and liberal friends.
Running Time: 1:04:00
(Apologies for the sound quality, I pulled a rookie mistake. I’ve heard worse though. :)
I know a lot of people don’t obsess over politics like I do, so I thought I would try to boil things down to some basic points.
There is a clear choice in this election. If we just look at one thing about each candidate for president, the differences are obvious.
Both President Obama and Governor Romney graduated from Harvard University. What each did after leaving Harvard speaks volumes about their character.
Mitt Romney headed to Wall Street and procured funding for a business venture from some shady folks from Latin America. He built a business that specialized in raiding failing corporations, getting as much money as they can out of them and then liquidating the assets, firing the employees and moving on to the next victim. I found this breakdown of Bain’s business model that I think sums it up pretty good.
Bain Capital, under Romney’s leadership, had one goal: take the money and run. More specifically, their highly successful process goes like this:
- Take over a company
- Borrow millions against the assets
- Procure millions more in taxpayer funded grants and low-interest loans
- Put the millions in grants and loans in their pockets
- File for bankruptcy and hightail it out of town, asap
Kinda sleazy if you ask me…did you ask me?
Barack Obama could have headed to New York, Wall Street or anywhere he wanted to after serving as the president of the Harvard Law Review…kind of a nice resume piece, you know. But instead, he chose to go to Chicago and help people. Two years after leaving Harvard, he took a job with a church based organization called the Developing Communities Project, which was a group of Catholic charities formed to help people suffering through layoffs and plant closings in the Chicago area. The project went on to win many awards and help countless people in Chicago pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Barack Obama then went on to teach constitutional law and entered the state legislature where he began his career in politics, continuing his goal of helping people.
So yeah, there is a clear difference between President Obama and Governor Romney. I go with the guy who helps people, how about you?
I’m not sure how I missed this, but I’m glad I found it. Don’t mess with seniors, I’m telling you.
There is no doubt that in the last week or more, the election has been breaking for President Obama. I don’t normally play the polling game, but as I’ve been saying for over a year, polls are only accurate when you get close to the actual election. Well folks, we’re close.
The awesome Michigander, Nate Silver, has been following all the ups and downs during the election and has developed a model that is comprehensive and relies on getting larger samples, thus more accurate results. He does what any statistician would do, adds them up and averages them. I had to laugh when I saw a quote from a Republican scoffing at the idea that he “averages” the polls.
In Ohio, where the rubber meets the road in this election, President Obama has been steadily climbing in damn near every poll taken in the last week. From Nate Silver…(emphasis mine)
Mr. Obama made gains in the FiveThirtyEight forecast on Tuesday, with his chances of winning the Electoral College increasing to 77.4 percent.
A fair amount of this boils down to Ohio, where three polls released on Tuesday gave Mr. Obama leads by margins ranging from three to five percentage points. Two of the polls, from Grove Research and the Mellman Group, generally show strong results for Democrats, which give them less impact in the forecast after applying our adjustment for pollster “house effects”. Still, the three polls taken collectively were enough to widen Mr. Obama’s projected lead in Ohio to 2.4 percentage points from 2.1 on Monday. Given how central Ohio is to each candidate’s electoral strategy — and how little time remains in the race — this was enough to improve Mr. Obama’s Electoral College chances. (The forecast does not yet account for the poll by Quinnipiac University for The New York Times and CBS News, which had Mr. Obama five points ahead in Ohio but which was released after we had run the model for the night.)
Today, November 1, Nate Silver currently has President Obama…as of 1:47 pm EST…with a 79% chance of winning the presidency and an estimated 300 electoral votes. It has been climbing all week long as poll after poll shows the gap widening between the president and Mitt Romney. Anyone who is honest with themselves can see that the President is widening his lead in the all important swing states. Republicans are having a hard time this week.
I totally understand how the Republicans feel, we Democrats have been through the same denial in 2004 and even some of us in 2010. It sucks having to rationalize and fool yourself into believing that you have a chance when all the signs are pointing the other way. It’s when “denialists” pull out the “momentum” arguments and the “tectonic shift” memes and go searching for the one poll that goes against the grain, clinging to it as if it were their blankie. I’ve been there, it sucks.
It’s been very odd, but not surprising, to watch the media continue to say “the race is tightening”, as Chuck Todd did this morning, even though the polls say otherwise. I tweeted him, of course, to point out his inconsistency and clear bias. I have a feeling ole Chuck isn’t one of my biggest fans.
So I’m excited, but cautious, going into the final weekend before the election on Tuesday. I never get too confident considering the fact that 59 million people voted to re-elect (or elect for the first time) George W. Bush in 2004. There are still a lot of dumb people (misinformed) in this country who have been getting their daily brainwashing from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the rest of the gang. The amount of misinformation in the public sphere as a direct result of that well oiled, Republican propaganda machine is very scary.
Just imagine how far ahead President Obama would be if the Republicans dealt in truth instead of lies or if the mainstream media had done their jobs and actually sorted out the truth for the public. I know, it’s a fantasy.