Listening to the PoliSciFiRadio podcast is one of my favorite things to do with my clothes on. Steve Benen, Bill Simmon and Emily Stoneking are a joy to listen to and of course, anyone who reads this blog knows that I pretty much worship Steve Benen as a political blogger. On a recent show, Steve pointed out that with the pick up in the economy, and thus increased revenues coming in, we will not hit the debt ceiling until much later in the summer. The GOP was counting on it in May or June and saw it as their leverage in the budget negotiations. Because you know, that’s how they roll these days.
Steve pointed to this great article from Greg Sargent at The Washington post that reveals this idiocy.
In today’s exercise in Fiscal Fraudulence, Republicans are making it clear they’ve decided they don’t want to enter into budget negotiations with Democrats until the debt ceiling deadline gets a good deal closer. ”The debt limit is the backstop,” Paul Ryan says. “I’d like to go through regular order and get something done sooner rather than later. But we need to get a down payment on the debt. We need entitlement reform.”
Greg Sargent quotes Kevin Drum, who sums it up pretty concisely.
Republicans are flatly refusing to even start budget negotiations until they can threaten default on the national debt if they don’t get their way. Apparently this is literally the only way they’re now willing to do business.
The even crazier part of this story is that the Republicans have already made it clear that they will not ever actually crash the economy with the debt ceiling threat. Greg Sargent sums up the whole mess pretty nicely.
It’s actually even crazier than Beutler and Drum say. Republicans are not willing to enter into fiscal negotiations without being able to wield the threat of crashing the economy to get their way — even as they have already revealed they are not willing to actually crash the economy to get their way. We already know Republicans are not willing to allow default. As you’ll recall, they caved during the last debt ceiling fight. More recently, John Boehner flatly admitted: “I’m not going to risk the full faith and credit of the federal government.” And Republicans are also set to vote on a bill (a nonstarter for Dems) that would allow Treasury to raise the debt ceiling just to pay off bondholders — with the goal of being able to continue demanding concessions in exchange for raising the debt limit while simultaneously avoiding default. That alone is yet another admission that Republicans are not willing to allow default to actually happen.
And so the GOP position, with no exaggeration, is this: Of course we’re not crazy and irresponsible enough to allow default to wreck the economy, but Democrats should pretend we are indeed crazy enough to do just that, so that we can win concessions from them in exchange for coming down (hint, hint, wink, wink) from the ledge.
The modern Republican Party has lost its way, we welcome all into the sane Democratic Party. Join us in sending the Republicans packing in 2014.
With the passing of Senator Arlen Specter, I was reminded of the “magic bullet theory” he devised while working for the Warren Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. I couldn’t help but see a parallel to Mitt Romney’s singular solution to all the country’s problems – more tax cuts for the 1%. He believes that cutting tax rates that benefit the wealthy disproportionately and rolling back regulations that President Obama put on Wall Street after the 2008 crash, will somehow fix everything.
Just forget about Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 & 2003 that added $3 trillion dollars to the national debt and ignore the fact that in the years after those tax cuts, America lost 8 million jobs during the Bush recession, which was handed to our newly elected president. And of course, you should also forget that the Republican leaders, including Paul Ryan, met on President Obama’s inauguration day to plot complete obstruction of the new president for political reasons.
Let’s call Romney’s one point plan what it is, TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS. The belief that if we just coddle the rich, they will, in their benevolence, share the wealth with the rest of us by supposedly creating jobs. Just ignore that new Jaguar they are driving, or the 4th home in the Hamptons or the Rolex watch that is weighing down their Bermuda tanned arms. It will trickle. Really!
The concept of supply-side economics has been thoroughly tested and thrown on the trash pile. We only have to look at Mitt Romney’s personal history to see a perfect example of how giving even more to those who don’t need it, won’t do a damn thing for the rest of us. Where is Mitt Romney’s money at? IN THE FUCKING CAYMAN ISLANDS, BERMUDA AND IN SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS. Do you think that money will ever trickle down to you?
Mitt Romney is a walking example of how greed and selfishness only creates more greed and selfishness.
Businesses don’t create jobs unless there is a demand for their products or services. It would be fucking stupid to do it otherwise. It’s why they do market analysis and studies to determine whether there is demand. When there is demand, businesses expand and create jobs. No demand, no reason to expand. Any business person who says they will create jobs if we just give them more disposable income is applying Romney’s “greed is good” principle and probably has an eye on a new car or vacation home.
If the government were to invest in rebuilding our infrastructure – roads, bridges, schools, railroads and other foundations of our country that we all rely on – real people will get those jobs like construction workers, teachers, contractors, firefighters, suppliers of the materials for the projects and many more businesses that support those industries. And when those people receive their paychecks, they will create demand for products and services and give a reason for the 1% to actually invest in new jobs. We don’t have to rely on their benevolence, they will do it because it makes business sense.
The most widely cited studies include those by the Congressional Budget Office, economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi, and economists James Feyrer and Bruce Sacerdote. These reports find a range of values for each program. In these studies, the “bang for the buck” value—what economists call the “multiplier,” or how many dollars of economic activity is fueled by one dollar spent—for overall social protection ranges from 0.8 to 2.31. Separately, Blinder and Zandi report a value of 1.61 for unemployment insurance and 1.74 for food stamps.
Research by Urban Institute economist Wayne Vroman estimates that one dollar spent on unemployment insurance fuels between 1.7 and 2.1 dollars of activity in the overall economy. According to these studies, the value for a dollar of spending on infrastructure ranges from 1 to 2.5, while the value for aid to state and local governments ranges from 0.7 to 1.8.
The analyses value middle-class tax cuts, such as the Making Work Pay tax credit that gave tax credits of $400 ($800 for couples), as generating between 0.6 and 1.5 dollars of additional economic activity; the value of extending the Alternative Minimum Tax patch for high-income earners for an additional year ranges from 0.2 to 0.6 dollars of additional activity. And the analyses value the extension of the housing tax credit for first-time homebuyers, providing credits up to $8000, in the Recovery Act from 0.3 to 0.9.
As you can see, putting money in the hands of consumers who will spend that money does a lot more to spur economic activity. Handing money over to the rich and hoping they create jobs with it is just plain stupid.
President Obama has been working hard to pass legislation like the American Jobs Act that would create an estimated 1.9 million jobs, but the obstructionist Republican party isn’t interested in creating jobs while President Obama is in office. They should be shown the door on November 6 for letting petty politics keep America from recovering from the mess that the GOP congress and President Bush created in the first place.
There is an easy solution, vote Democratic across the board and send a message to the Republicans that American workers are more important than politics.
Cross posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
The Republicans and their media enablers continuously spread misinformation about the deficit and debt. For anyone who is unclear, the definitions are below.
The Federal Deficit – The deficit is the difference between the money federal government takes in, called receipts, and what it spends, called outlays, each year.
The National Debt – The amount of the Treasury securities issued to the public and to the government trust funds is considered that year’s deficit and becomes part of the larger, ongoing national debt.
An incoming president, no matter who it is, inherits the previous president(s) deficits and debts. It’s a nice welcoming gift for the person “lucky” enough to win the election. The following chart breaks down what the national debt consists of and projects it into the future. It’s been around for a while, but never gets old as far as spelling out the truth in graph form. Courtesy of Steve Benen, now of The Maddow Blog.
President Obama spoke in Asheville, North Carolina this morning as part of his continued push to bring jobs to the American people. He laid waste to the Republican’s “plan” and did a little comparison for us that spells out a stark reality. It needs to be shared with the people marching in the streets across the country…(emphasis mine)
THE PRESIDENT: They said no to helping veterans find jobs.
Essentially, they said no to you — because it turns out one poll found that 63 percent of Americans support the ideas in this jobs bill. (Applause.) So 63 percent of Americans support the jobs bill that I put forward; 100 percent of Republicans in the Senate voted against it. That doesn’t make any sense, does it?
THE PRESIDENT: No, it does not.
Now, it turns out that the Republicans have a plan, too. I want to be fair. They call — they put forward this plan last week. They called it the “Real American Jobs Act.” The “real one” — that’s what they called it — just in case you were wondering. (Laughter.) So let’s take a look at what the Republican American jobs act looks like. It turns out the Republican plan boils down to a few basic ideas: They want to gut regulations; they want to let Wall Street do whatever it wants.
I’m very encouraged by the energy being generated by the “Occupy” movements happening across the country. And even though it is made up of people with many different views on politics, I’m hopeful that it gets people involved and more people register to vote — because elections do matter. If you don’t think they matter, you must have been sleeping through President Bush’s 8 years in office. This movement has the potential to change the corporate hold on Washington and give voice to those who don’t have lobbyists, the 99% of us just trying to survive. Viva La Occupy!
Initially, the Occupy Wall Street movement was ignored by the corporate media. The networks and cable outfits figured that perhaps after a few days, the movement would simply go away. But it didn’t, and in fact, the movement gained more sympathy than scorn from various factions for different reasons.
It’s been almost humorous watching the media insist that OWS needs to “define” itself in order to “achieve” their (unstated) goals. They need to have a list of clear demands, news anchors on the six o’clock news bellowed. But once again, the corporate media misses the obvious mark. For one, “Occupy Wall Street” is a moniker that speaks for itself. No explanation is needed, if one reflects on the current turmoil that our nation is experiencing. In a Twitter-oriented society, it helps, not hinders, to label a movement with a general descriptive tag that is short and inclusive.
It is not a mystery that there is a general consensus that Wall Street’s gains have not alleviated the misery of those on Main Street. “The 99%”, which is a self-conferred name, has also provided a connective link to the general public. What could be so wrong about a movement that calls itself the overwhelming majority? After all, most folks know doggone well that they aren’t part of the 1%. So both the name of the movement as well as that of its participants have allowed a visceral kinship to ordinary Americans without even trying, something the media doesn’t quite yet comprehended. The OWS’s truth in labeling is its connective strength that could be key to its eventual success, however that success materializes.
Also, the recorded acts of police brutality perpetuated upon the young, peaceful protestors certainly helped foster public sympathy early in the movement’s plight. As YouTube provided visual footage of inexplicable police action against peaceful protestors, that pitiful sight allowed a large segment of the public to side with the defenseless. This has always been the case in prior successful movements. Americans who might have otherwise paid no attention realized that the young women being pepper sprayed could be their own daughter or granddaughter who showed up to protest their lack of finding a job after graduating from college. These events had an impact.
Here are some links for your reading pleasure, culled from my reading list over the last week. Please come back and comment here if you are so inclined.
- When you hear people make the statement that over half of Americans don’t pay any income tax, you will have this information to throw in their selfish faces.
- If you ever wondered where Bill Maher is coming from and where he has been rhetorically over the years, this is a must read.
- The Baltimore Orioles recorded an “It Gets Better” video. Go watch it!
- The most excellent Matt Osborne reminds all the people screaming about Elizabeth Warren not being appointed to the CFPB that she didn’t even want the damn job. Oh, and click on Matt’s donate tab while you are over there and give generously.
- You have to check out The Grio’s latest auteur, Imani Gandy, as she tells us about the “South Central” tea partiers.
- What sort of country do we live in where the Speaker of the House can go on television and lie his ass off?
- Dennis G. at Balloon Juice has a great piece on a subject I’ve ranted about before, that dreaded “C” word….compromise.
Have a most excellent Saturday people. Do your part to neutralize the false information floating around about our President. The forces aligned against him are many and we all need to help beat back the misinformation and hatred.
It’s amazing how the deficit got so big, the Bush tax cuts take up a huge portion of our recent debt and of course Bush’s wars.
Let’s call this an open thread, what are you all doing this weekend. Anything fun? I have my 30 year High School reunion. Yeee haaa!
This video of President Obama talking to the college students in Massachusetts back in March is showing up all over the internet. There is one passage that I particularly liked that will hopefully help to educate some of the people who bristle at every compromise with Republicans…(emphasis mine)
“And so, one of the challenges of this generation is, I think, to understand that the nature of our democracy and the nature of our politics is to marry principle to a political process. That means you don’t get a 100% of what you want. You don’t get it if you are the majority; you don’t get it if you are in the minority.And you can be an honorable in politics understanding that you are not going to get 100% of what you want.
“And that’s been our history. You think about our greatest presidents — Abraham Lincoln, here is a guy who didn’t believe in slavery, but his first priority was keeping the Union. I’ve got the Emancipation Proclamation hanging up in my office, and if you read through, it turns out that most of the document is: those states and areas where the Emancipation doesn’t apply because those folks were allies with the Union so they can keep their slaves. Think about that. That’s the Emancipation Proclamation.
“So, here you’ve got a war time president who is making a compromise around probably the greatest moral issue the country ever faced because he understood that, ‘Right now my job is to win the war and to maintain the Union.
The Tea Party on the right and the Firebaggers on the left have both staked out intransigent positions. In my many years of obsessing over politics, I’ve never seen anything like it.
It’s astounding that this unprecedented polarization has effectively changed the way our government functions. It’s been perpetuated primarily from the Republican side of the aisle where the President has been thwarted at every turn. Watch our very wise President in explaining this to a politically mixed group of college students, it once again proves that we elected the right man for the job and need to reelect him in 2012.
In a press conference last week, President Obama referred to this craziness and how it puzzles him that Republicans can oppose ideas they once supported, just because he now supports them. Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly picked up on that line and wrote a great post about it. Here are some of Steve’s thoughts on this puzzling situation…
It is, to be sure, quite a pattern. For two-and-a-half years, Obama has run into congressional Republicans who not only refuse to take “yes” for an answer, but routinely oppose their own ideas when the president is willing to accept them.
This seems especially relevant in the context of the current debt-reduction talks. At a certain level, it’s almost comical — here we have a Democratic president agreeing with a conservative Republican House Speaker on a massive deal that would lower the debt by over $4 trillion over the next decade. It would tilt heavily in the GOP’s direction, and address the problem Republicans pretend to care about most. Obama is even willing to consider significant entitlement “reforms,” which should be music to the ears of the right.
And yet, in the latest example that “puzzles” the president, Republicans aren’t interested.
I think the President has adapted to this strategy and is exploiting the Republican intransigence by making offers that help to reveal this stupidity and also help him politically by making him seem like the reasonable one. The debt ceiling debate is a perfect example how he has adapted. The President’s position from the beginning has been to get a clean raising of the debt ceiling and after his masterful negotiating, it looks like that is exactly what he is going to get. Go back and watch Lawrence O’Donnell’s great rant on this from last week, he nails it to the wall.
The truly amazing thing is that President Obama has accomplished a ton in this atmosphere, can you imagine how much more he could have accomplished if the congress had just operated the way it has for the last….well, how about since our country’s founding.
Adam Green recently sent out a mass email attacking President Obama based on several lies concocted from a press conference on July 11, 2011. These lies were born and reside only in the mind of Adam Green, as well as the rabid Obamahaters who cling to Green’s every word to justify their irrational hatred for our President.
Green’s group, the PCCC (Progressive Change Campaign Committee), is probably the most organized group of people suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome.
So what was so dishonest about his appeal? How about EVERYTHING!
Whether blatant or subtle lies, exaggerations, misrepresentations or selective omissions of reality, they are lies – pure fucking lies.
Lie Number 1: The lie upon which most of the other lies were derived: Obama “came right out and said” that he’s pushing for benefit cuts in important programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Adam Green cherry picked Obama’s statements in order to concoct a lie. He plucked one utterance of the word “benefits” from a general statement by Obama in which he discussed the broader issues of how we get the country’s fiscal house in order. Bear in mind — the word “benefits” does not appear anywhere near the words “Social Security,” “Medicare” or “Medicaid” (the big 3), and considering the President had addressed those issues before and after that question in the press conference, it shows that Adam Green doesn’t give a shit about the truth. If he did, he would have looked at everything the President said and not cherry picked one word and then connected it to previous words in order to manufacture a lie.
Adam Green is using scare tactics to raise money from his vulnerable and apparently very gullible followers. I’ve been waiting for him to talk about “death panels”.
The following passage is where Adam Green plucked that word from. Of course, I’m including the context — unlike Mr. Green. The bold type is where he grabs that lone word, “benefits”.
And if you’re a progressive that cares about investments in Head Start and student loan programs and medical research and infrastructure, we’re not going to be able to make progress on those areas if we haven’t gotten our fiscal house in order.
So the argument I’m making to my party is, the values we care about — making sure that everybody in this country has a shot at the American Dream and everybody is out there with the opportunity to succeed if they work hard and live a responsible life, and that government has a role to play in providing some of that opportunity through things like student loans and making sure that our roads and highways and airports are functioning, and making sure that we’re investing in research and development for the high-tech jobs of the future — if you care about those things, then you’ve got to be interested in figuring out how do we pay for that in a responsible way.
And so, yeah, we’re going to have a sales job; this is not pleasant. It is hard to persuade people to do hard stuff that entails trimming benefits and increasing revenues. But the reason we’ve got a problem right now is people keep on avoiding hard things, and I think now is the time for us to go ahead and take it on.
As you can see, in the preceding two paragraphs, the president is talking in general about the difficulty of getting our fiscal house in order so that we can do things that progressives, I say liberals, care about. He was talking very broadly. I can just picture Adam Green wetting himself when President Obama said the word “benefits.” And I can also imagine him jumping on his computer and starting to type that dishonest appeal to his listserv for money, even before the President finished his sentence. He must have missed what came after that benign and very general reference to “trimming benefits”.
Click Read More for the rest of the post!
Being the political junkie that I am, I have had the opportunity to see Mark Halperin offer his opinion and “political analysis” countless times. He certainly isn’t always wrong, in my opinion, but a lot of the time when I hear his take on things, I end up scratching my head and thinking, whaaa? Many times I’ll even do the *face palm* or the *head desk*. As far as his bias to the right, it has been obvious to me for years. After what happened on Thursday with Mr. Halperin, I decided to do a little research and was reminded of some previous “gaffes”, shall we say. There is a clear pattern with Halperin.
When President Obama was filling a Supreme Court vacancy, Mark Halperin actually went with this title for a story, which can’t be found now…
There is just so much wrong with that. First, of all the angles to take on the story of picking our next Supreme Court justice, his is the perceived “reverse discrimination” (a racists dream phrase) against poor white men. Because over the years, you know, white men have had such a hard time getting on the Supreme Court. I’m sure he thinks it is just innocent “pointing out the obvious”, but you know damn well that the audience for that statement was all the good ole boys who pit themselves against minorities as if everything is zero-sum. It is a not-so-subtle dog whistle to all the racists and classists in our country. It is a blatant appeal to the Fox News viewers, which have large numbers. There is more on the reason for that later on in this post.
Here is an example of Mark Halperin’s analyst skills and his unique perspective on things, to put it way too politely. This is Mark Halperin’s reaction to President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union address.
What is funny is that if you look at polls of people who watched the speech, it becomes apparent that Mark Halperin sees things differently than ordinary folks. From CBS New’s Political Hotsheet…
Of the randomly selected 522 speech viewers questioned by CBS, 83 percent said they approved of the proposals the President made. Just 17 percent disapproved…
Six in 10 of those asked said they thought Mr. Obama conveyed a clear plan for creating jobs, and seven in 10 said his plans for the economy will help ordinary Americans. Another seven in 10 said President Obama has the same priorities for the country as they have.
The same individuals were interviewed both before and after Wednesday’s State of the Union, and after the speech, 70 percent said Mr. Obama shares their priorities for the country, up from 57 percent before the speech.
Did you notice how he called him “this troubled president” as if that is the conventional wisdom of the day. It certainly was the wisdom that Halperin and other skewed journalists were trying to push, thank goodness Media Matters for America is around to sort out the truth for us.
Here is another list of the accomplishment of President Obama through November of 2009, not even a year into his presidency. Does that look like “a troubled president” to you?
I saw this next one live, back when I used to torture myself by watching Morning Joe. It was after the President invited Republican leaders, including Paul Ryan, to a speech where the President laid out his budget and took on the draconian, now much abandoned Paul Ryan plan. After listening to Paul Ryan and other Republicans touting his plan, using everything in their arsenal to twist and spin the plan as bold, the President laid waste to it. Apparently Mark Halperin took it personally and proceeded to defend those poor Republicans who were called out on their assault on the poor and seniors. First, let’s take a look at what the President said that upset Halperin and Scarborough, from The Media Research Center…
BARACK OBAMA: This vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America . . . Ronald Reagan’s own budget director said there’s nothing serious or courageous about this plan . . . There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. And I don’t think there’s anything courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill . . . That’s not a vision of the America I know.
Here is what Halperin and Scarborough said on Morning Joe in response to that passage from the President’s speech…
MARK HALPERIN: I think if a Republican president called the Democratic proposals on something like this un-American, I think the press would be up in arms.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: They would savage him.
HALPERIN: They would be up in arms. I think that kind of rhetoric: for the president to say, that what Paul Ryan is doing is not consistent with his vision of America, I think that’s rhetoric that only added insult, injury to the insult of inviting him to sit in the front row.
SCARBOROUGH: Republicans have said a lot of really, really tough things about Barack Obama. Really tough things. So, it’s not even the words, it’s not the rhetoric. I think the president does believe that the Ryan plan is not the America that he grew up in or the America he wants. I’m just saying, for negotiating reasons, why invite him to sit in the front row and say that his budget is not serious and is un-American when Paul Ryan’s been fighting his entire life for this?
HALPERIN: I totally agree. It seems like a weird decision to make.
Now, maybe these two boneheads were sleeping during the 8 years of President (with us or against us) Bush, but I doubt it. They both clearly spend most of their time defending the Republican brand and trying to convince people of liberal media bias and false equivalencies. In this post, warning, it’s a Huffington Post article, he blames President Obama for Republican opposition to the stimulus. Amazing.
Mark Halperin believes that there is a liberal bias in the media and is doing his part to swing the pendulum back to the right. It is just one more example of how absurd his thinking is. That pendulum swung to the right immediately after the horrible events of 9/11 and it’s been stuck there ever since. The Bush cabal did a masterful job of using a national tragedy to cow the media into doing it’s bidding. Wrapping everything they did in patriotism and daring the press to go against them. I remember it clearly, but apparently Mark Halperin was sleeping through all that.
Does anyone else see a pattern – President Obama stands up to Republicans and the media narrative and Mark Halperin is offended and jumps to the defense of those poor, poor Republican’s who are so cordial and nice in their rhetoric. There are many more examples of Halperin’s misguided rhetoric, but who has the time to go through all of it. I just wonder if Time magazine is really willing to offend so many people who support President Obama by continuing to employ this man who has proven his bias and terrible analyst skills Time and Time again.
From Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly, go read the whole thing, but these last couple of paragraphs were simply golden.
Republicans said a payroll tax cut would help create jobs, and now they’re opposed to their own idea. Republicans said the Economic Development Administration is great for the economy, and now they’re opposed to that, too. Republicans have traditionally supported infrastructure investment, but the “infrastructure bank” idea appears likely to be killed by the GOP. Many Republicans endorsed the TANF Emergency Fund last year as an incredibly effective method of lowering unemployment, and the congressional GOP killed that, too.
Republicans are blocking qualified Treasury Department nominees who could also be working on economic policy. Republicans are blocking qualified Federal Reserve nominees who could also help improve the economy, while demanding that the Fed do nothing to promote economic activity. The GOP is demanding that Congress and the White House agree to immediately take money out of the economy and eliminate public-sector jobs, even when conservative economists say that’s crazy. What’s more, these same Republican officials have made it abundantly clear that failure to give them the cuts they want would force them to crash the economy on purpose.
And it’s against this backdrop that one of the most powerful Republican officials on Capitol Hill has argued, more than once, that his “top priority” isn’t job creation, but rather, “denying President Obama a second term in office.”
This is a conversation worth having.
Some respected journalists have been dancing around the issue of whether Republicans are purposely trying to hurt the economy and job growth for political gain. I’m not afraid to say it. It is very obvious that’s exactly what they have been doing since President Obama took office. Sure, they’ve tried to couch their opposition to everything in ideological terms, but anyone with their eyes open wide, knows that they are doing everything they can to try and hurt him, and consequently, the country. ThinkProgress has the facts for us…
From the moment Obama entered office, right-wing conservatives embraced the posture of hell-bent opposition. Recall, in Jan. 2009, hate radio host Rush Limbaugh expressed his hope that Obama fails. One month later, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell proudly embraced Limbaugh at a conservative conference. The fringe rhetoric of far right activists had quickly become the de facto governing strategy of the Republican leadership, as they adopted a posture of obstructionism.
Believing that the Republican strategy of opposition has played to his political benefit, McConnell is pledging to do more of the same if Republicans win back the Senate. In an interview with the National Journal’s Major Garrett, McConnell candidly acknowledged that he feels his “single most important” job is to defeat President Obama in 2012:
MCCONNELL: We need to be honest with the public. This election is about them, not us. And we need to treat this election as the first step in retaking the government. We need to say to everyone on Election Day, “Those of you who helped make this a good day, you need to go out and help us finish the job.”
NATIONAL JOURNAL: What’s the job?
MCCONNELL: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.
And the Republican’s have been doing everything in their power to achieve that end. It started all the way back at the beginning of President Obama’s first term. Even before he took office, Bush administration economists and Obama’s people were having very urgent meetings about preventing a complete collapse of our economy. It was serious shit, very somber. The stimulus plan was devised by all the greatest economists in our country from the right and left. As these serious people were working hard to prevent the next great depression, the clowns in the Republican Party were already starting to play their games with our future. They helped to water down the stimulus package so much that the positive effects were minimal, which made it easier for the GOP to later sell their idea that the stimulus didn’t work. It was clear that they weren’t going to be able to stop the stimulus, so they did the next best thing. Most of the blame for the watering down rests with the spineless Democrats in congress, who let the Republicans push them to right. They bowed to the coordinated attacks from the right and the media and didn’t get a single one of their votes after all the watering down. I can think of another word besides watering.
Of course, almost every economist who is truthful will tell you that the stimulus did work and had it been bigger, it would have worked even better. From USA Today (August 2010) with the title “Economists Agree: Stimulus Created Nearly 3 Million Jobs“…
The White House says the multiyear $814 billion stimulus program passed by Congress in 2009 boosted employment by 2.5 million to 3.6 million jobs and raised the nation’s annual economic output by almost $400 billion. A recent study by two prominent economists generally agrees, crediting the pump-priming with averting “what could have been called Great Depression 2.0.”
I remember clearly – the dire predictions, the fainting couches breaking, the screeching of “do something quickly” and “the sky is falling, run for your lives.” And our calm, cool President did what he had to do to stop it, with ABSOLUTELY NO FREAKIN HELP FROM REPUBLICANS. In fact, there was lock-step opposition to it. That is when I knew that the Republicans were serious about sacrificing the economy of the country they call home, for their own political gain. It wasn’t enough that they got the chance to screw up the country for 8 years with their buddy Bush, but they were desperate to complete the destruction of America. And I’m not being hyperbolic either, those scum are anti-American pieces of shit. The next paragraph in that USA Today piece points to how successful the GOP and the media’s twisting worked…
If President Obama expected anyone to say, “Thank you,” however, he’s been disappointed. In a recent USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, 59% of respondents disapproved of the president’s handling of the economy. In the partisan war over the economy’s performance, the word “stimulus” has became synonymous with “boondoggle,” making the notion of a repeat any time soon highly unlikely — especially if Republicans seize control of one or both houses of Congress in November.
Once the weakened stimulus passed, after the Republican’s pulled every trick they could, with the help of the idiot “conservadems”, they immediately started saying how it didn’t work. It started even before most of it was even implemented. The right-wing noise machine and the brain dead media, just pushed the “it didn’t work” meme ad nauseum. They were relentless. And there was very little push back from anyone in the Democratic Party. Some of them seemed to join in the bashing and fell in line with the right-wing media’s bullshit, collapsing like spineless jellyfish. It must be nice to be able to hide amongst fellow wimps, dodging any responsibility (credit) for bills they voted for, but taking that credit when they presented the big checks.
The complicit media just bought into the right-wing memes of the stimulus not working and that the Obama administration “promised” that the unemployment rate would go down to 8.5%. Of course, those projections were based on the information the crooked Bush administration handed them when they walked into office and they were in no way “promises”. They were anything but “promises”, they were cautious forecasts with all sorts of caveats. But what the hell, media, call them promises, that’s what your right-wing overlords like. Must. Please. Bosses. Once the Obama administration had been in a couple of months, they revised those estimates and said the Bush administration projections were off. Did the media pick up on that, of course not. They continue to trumpet the original number, never even mentioning the revisions. That wouldn’t fit with the narrative now, would it?
But of course the Republican opposition to all of President Obama’s policies and particularly the stimulus plan didn’t prevent them from claiming credit in their districts and having pictures taken with the giant checks. Rachel Maddow, our one national treasure in the current media, nails one of them to the wall on Meet the Press…
The DCCC has a Hypocrisy Hall of Fame for all those Republicans claiming credit in their districts while decrying the stimulus out of the other side of their mouths. But hypocrisy is the new norm in the Republican Party and because of it, the American people are desensitized to it now and just accept that all politicians are hypocrites, whether they are or not. It’s part of their scorched earth tactic to bring everyone down into the mud with them so they all look nice and dirty to the people. It will work, but only to a certain extent.
Even though respected journalists are avoiding “going there” with the idea that the GOP is purposely sabotaging our economy, they are hinting at it big time. E.J. Dionne goes there a little bit with this post…
Welcome to the miserable world of no-way-out politics.
The economy needs another jolt, but Congress is in gridlock. Democrats, or most of them, realize that their political futures and the well-being of millions of households hang on whether unemployment can be brought down. Yet Republicans have the capacity to block even the smallest steps forward.Here’s what the Democrats’ agony looks like from the inside. Last Thursday, Senate Democrats devoted their weekly policy lunch to a simple question: What proposals to spur job-creation have any chance of passing Congress, given Republican control of the House and the effective veto power the GOP has in a Senate where a simple majority no longer rules?
For the moment, Republicans have no interest in moving the nation’s debate toward investments in job creation because they gain twice over from keeping Washington mired in discussions on the deficit. It’s a brute fact that Republicans benefit if the economy stays sluggish…
I have to say that anyone who hasn’t noticed the Republicans very blatant attempts to stop the President from implementing any policy that would help the economy is simply in denial. They have either put their heads so deep in the sand OR so far up their ass, that they can’t see a damn thing. It’s one or the other, take your pick!