The right has gone full-time into “black mobs attacking innocent whites.” Huge headlines at Drudge, mass emails, etc.
Last week it was all Obamacare will destroy us.
The right has gone full-time into “black mobs attacking innocent whites.” Huge headlines at Drudge, mass emails, etc.
Last week it was all Obamacare will destroy us.
It finally came time for Republicans to put up or shut up. Instead they’re shutting down.
Never mind Obamacare; that’s just a mask for a huge Republican failure to govern. If you want to understand how we got to the point of a government shutdown, ask any Republican exactly what they would cut from the budget, and ask them to give actual dollar amounts of how much money that would “save.”
The current shutdown fight is over passing a “continuing resolution” (CR). Do you know what a continuing resolution is? It is what Congress uses when they haven’t passed an actual budget. It is a resolution to continue operating the government at existing spending levels, under existing policies.
And why hasn’t the Congress passed a budget? I’m glad you asked me that question.
Republican Budget Lies
Under President Reagan, Republicans cut taxes on the rich, and when huge deficits resulted (as intended), they said, “We have a spending problem, and we have to cut government.”
Ever since then, the propaganda has been flowing, 24/7/365: government spends too much, is too big, waste-fraud-and-abuse, is bankrupting us, etc. But they never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever will tell you what they would cut and by how much. Ever.
If pressed, they’ll say “cut foreign aid.”
Again, Republicans will always, always, always tell people that government spending needs to be cut. And Republicans will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever tell people exactly what they would cut, and by how much.
Because they understand that if people knew what they are really talking about cutting, no one would ever vote for another Republican again.
The Magic Asterisk
THIS year, however, it finally, finally came to be “put up or shut up” time. The Republicans in the House had to actually pass a budget that said what and how much they would cut. Instead, however, they didn’t put up and are shutting down.
You might remember that Republicans passed something called the “Ryan budget.” This was a budget outline that dramatically cut the federal budget, but without specifics. Economist Paul Krugman wrote repeatedly about the Ryan plan, explaining how it relied on a “magic asterisk.” This is an asterisk they insert, and below they write that specific cuts will be named later.
For example, Krugman, in “Big Fiscal Phonies,” writes:
…once you strip out Mr. Ryan’s “magic asterisks” — claims that he will somehow increase revenues and cut spending in ways that he refuses to specify — what you’re left with are plans that would increase, not reduce, federal debt.
Later, Krugman wrote in “What’s In The Ryan Plan?“:
Yet Ryan claims a big deficit reduction, via two big “magic asterisks”. First, he insists that the tax cuts won’t reduce revenue, because they’ll be offset with unspecified “base-broadening”. [. . .] Second, there are large assumed cuts in discretionary spending relative to current policy. [. . .] all of the alleged deficit reduction comes from revenue and spending numbers that are simply asserted, not the result of any policies actually described in the “plan”. [. . .] All the claims of major deficit reduction therefore rest on the magic asterisks. In that sense, this isn’t even a plan, it’s just a set of assertions.
Put Up Or Shut Up Time
This Republican budget outline was then sent to the various House committees and they were charged with coming up with specific cuts. It was finally put up or shut up time.
So what happened?
In “Republicans Choose (More) Vacation Over Governing,” I wrote about what happened in one instance of a committee having to specify what to cut and by how much.
This week was put up or shut up time for Republicans. After decades demanding unspecified budget cuts they finally had to put their vote where their budget outline was. So what did they do? They are taking a 40th vote on repealing Obamacare and then heading home for five weeks vacation. This is who they are.
The House Republican leadership withdrew its own THUD bill – Transportation, Housing and Urban Development – because the cuts in the bill were just too much for members to stomach. They had to vote to put actual numbers on their eternal promises to cut, cut, cut, and they couldn’t even stomach it themselves.
What about Tuesday’s shutdown? I wrote at the time, “When they return in the fall it looks like they will try to divert attention from their failure to come up with specific cuts by passing something that Democrats cannot accept and the President will veto, then shut the government down and try to blame Democrats.”
And here we are.
It was put up or shut up time, and they instead decided to shut down. Obamacare is just a mask for what is happening here.
In a democracy, isn’t the definition of “government spending” the things that We the People decide to do that make our lives better?
Conservatives say government makes us “dependent” and not “self-reliant.” Does bringing water to our houses make us “dependent” and less self-reliant on going down to the stream with a couple of buckets, or does it just make our lives better? Does a police force and courts make us “dependent” on not carrying a sword and a big club around with us, or does it just make our lives better?
Hey if you knew Friday what Republicans were going to do over the weekend you could place bets on the stock market, and make millions.
NBC has a show called “Under Wild Skies” sponsored by the NRA. On the show they hunt and shoot “big game.”
On a recent episode an NRA lobbyist hunted and then shot an elephant in the face twice, injuring the elephant, for fun. The elphant screams. After a while he shoots the elephant and kills it. Then celebrates with champagne.
This is real. Buzzfeed has video of the segment. I watched the first few seconds and then decided I couldn’t watch it.
In the episode, which aired Sunday night, NRA strategist Tony Makris and a hunting guide track an elephant in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Makris spots an elephant and shoots it in the face twice, causing the injured elephant to trumpet and run away. “Somebody got a little cheeky there,” Makris chuckles as the animal attempts to escape. He and his guide eventually catch up to the elephant and Makris delivers the fatal blow. After posing next to the elephant’s body with his his “lethal” Tyrannosaur rifle and .577 ammunition, Makris and his guide return to their lodge to celebrate with champagne.
Huffington Post also has a story about this, also with video.
The LA Times has covered the story as well.
NBC has said they will not rebroadcast “this particular episode” of the show about hunting and killing “big game” for fun.
Headlines at Drudge today:
WWII vet, 88, beaten to death by black teens…
Suspect photos released…
‘PAULA DEEN SHOOTS TRAYVON MARTIN’
Buchanan: ‘Interracial violence is overwhelmingly black-on-white’…
Police: Man doused with gasoline, set on fire in vacant lot…
Hot Dog Vendor Beaten With Hammer, Robbed of Cell Phone…
UPDATE: ‘Homeland Security’ Employee Preparing for Coming Race War…
This is out-and-out KKK territory.
The parents of the Republican Party are away for the summer and the Tea-nagers are ransacking the House. But is it really a surprise that people who hate government itself would act to destroy government itself?
Shut The Government Vs. Global Meltdown
There are more and more indications that Republicans might either shut down the government or “breach” the debt ceiling when they return to DC from the summer recess. Bill Scher’s Republicans Flinch Again, captures the essence of what this means,
A government shutdown would dent the American economy, inconvenience millions and generally make Republicans look like children. But preventing the government from paying its bills would wreck the full faith and credit of the government and spark a global economic meltdown.
Terrifying Scenario Developing
If you read this morning’s Progressive Breakfast (and you always should), you see a terrifying scenario emerging in DC. The Tea Party is working itself up into a full destruction tantrum, and it is hard to see a way around it. Remember that they left town for the summer after refusing to pass the “THUD” bill. This was the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill that tried to line up with the Republican-mandated “Ryan Budget” spending cuts that drastically reduces the things government does to help make We the People’s lives better — also called “government spending.” The cuts were too much for some Republicans to swallow, and not enough for others. So they gave up and went home without doing anything at all. (And of course they never took up a jobs bill at all.)
Now they are getting ready to return, and the early indications are that there will be more of the same. There will be no governing in the House, just more of the same: posturing and destroying,
“Flirting With A Fail”
Politico, Eve of Destruction, “Republicans are in jeopardy of convincing voters they simply cannot govern.”
Republicans are all flirting with a fall that could see influential party voices threatening to default on the debt or shut down the government — and therefore ending all hopes of proving they are not insane when it comes to governance.
The NY Times digs a bit deeper into the problems, in Puzzle Awaits the Capital: How to Solve 3 Fiscal Rifts,
On the endgame for the budget showdown looming in Washington this fall, only this is clear: President Obama thinks Republicans cannot risk another debt crisis or government shutdown, and Republican leaders agree.
[. . .] Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio has reiterated that Republicans will not raise the debt limit without offsetting spending cuts. … But Mr. Obama, burned by the downgrade of the United States debt rating after those 2011 negotiations, insists he will not negotiate on the issue this time.
Meanwhile the Republican “base” is demanding a shutdown over Obamacare. Erick Erickson at Redstate today,
Stay focused. Show up and confront your Congressman. Tell him if he votes to fund Obamacare, he cannot really say he is fighting against it.
Heritage Foundation has a campaign to shut the government over Obamacare. They are pushing the idea that a shutdown “won’t hurt” the Republicans (with no mention of, or concern over, the millions of Americans who will be hurt).
So here it comes people. In a short time we find out whether the Republicans are going to close the government they hate or destroy the “full faith and credit” of the United States, which would destroy the government they have along with the economy of the world.
I should do a series… Is keeping the minimum wage low really part of an ideology? Or is it really just big companies paying legislators to keep their profits high at the expense of We, the People?
It that ideology, when giant companies pay legislators to boost their profits? Is it ideology when big companies fund conservative “think tanks” that are really just propaganda machines, to tell people that there is an “ideology” that demands that wages be lowered?
Or is this just corruption?
I have been thinking that a lot of the fight going on isn’t about ideology at all, it is about corruption and the influence of money and how money uses its ability to influence society behind a MASK of ideology. You can justify a lot more if what you are doing is seen as an ideological effort, because that is about ideas and the clash of ideas and free speech, where money is just about money and power and force.
When it is ideas, it is ideology, when it is money it is just corruption. But calling it ideology keeps you out of jail.
I am just back from England… Toured a lot of castles, etc. and studied a lot of the history of the monarchy. The royalists used to justify their rule by saying God mandated it, etc.. So there was an “ideology” that kings should rule and royalty was sacred etc., but really it was about thugs who were stronger than other thugs, and then it was about keeping that power in the hands of a chosen few.
Was that really ideology?
The “Tea Party” was started and funded by Koch Oil and its owners. But now the Tea Party in Georgia supports free market alternatives to oil monopolies, and Koch Oil is fighting them.
Summary: Georgia Power wants to expand its use of solar energy as the price of solar goes down. Georgia’s Tea Party likes the idea because it means consumers will get free-market choices. Of course Koch Oil has been fighting solar, wind, high-speed rail, electric cars and efforts to fight climate change because all of those hurt their lucrative oil business, and their front group Americans For Prosperity — the group behind the Tea Party in the first place — has launched a typical misleading smear campaign.
Think Progress has the story, in Koch Brothers Fund Effort To Undermine Tea Party Support Of Solar Energy in Georgia,
Tea Party members supporting the solar expansion see it as a simple free market issue. They believe consumers have the right to choose where their electricity comes from and shouldn’t be forced to remain dependent on a single source, especially in light of the rapidly declining cost of solar.
Despite the Tea Party’s support, Americans For Prosperity, a conservative group funded by the Koch brothers, came out against the proposed solar measure last week — launching what it calls “a multi-pronged, grassroots driven initiative” urging activists to pressure members of the PSC to reject the solar expansion.
In an email to its 50,000 members across the state, AFP Georgia director Virginia Galloway asks, “What if I told you something you’re not even hearing about in the news is about to raise your electricity bill by more than 40 percent and reduce the reliability of every appliance and electronics gadget in your home? That’s what will happen when your Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) votes on July 11th if you don’t take action today!”
Go read the rest…
During the first years of the Obama administration the Republican strategy was to obstruct efforts to improve the economy and crate more jobs. Then, at election time they went to the public saying, “Obama hasn’t made things better.” But now they are moving into outright sabotage of things that government does for people, like the new health care law, with election plans to campaign on the failure of government to do things for people.
Public Not Aware Of Health Care Law
Most of the new health care law goes into effect next year, with the “exchanges” beginning at the end of this year. But the public has little, if any, understanding of what is coming and what it means to them.
An April Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking poll found that only 40% of the public even knows that the health care law has been upheld by the courts and not repealed by Congress. “Also about half the public says they do not have enough information about the health reform law to understand how it will impact their own family, a share that rises among the uninsured and low-income households.”
And less than 10% report hearing anything good about the new law.
Republicans Threaten Sports Leagues
The government is beginning (really, really late in the game) to try to get information to the public. Among other efforts, the Dept. of Health and Human Services had been talking to sports leagues about ways they can help educate the public. Republicans immediately moved to nip that in the bud.
Senate Republican leaders have sent letters warning six professional sports leagues not to provide the Obama administration any assistance in promoting Obamacare.
The letters, dated June 27, warn the chiefs of the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Professional Golf Association and NASCAR that partnering with the administration to publicize the benefits of the health care law would damage their reputations.
It worked: CNN, NFL has ‘no plans’ to promote Obamacare.
The reason Republicans went after the sports leagues is because in a past public-information effort sports turned out to be a good way to get information out to the public. In 2007 the Boston Red Sox assisted then-Gov Romney in promoting the new Massachusetts health care law. This helped spread public knowledge and understanding of the new law.
But public knowledge and understanding is to Republicans like garlic is to vampires. Increased public knowledge and understanding get in the way of their agenda.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a 501(c)(4) group. This special tax status allows the organization to hide its donors from the public. But this also means it is prohibited by law from engaging in political activites. Founded with the support of the Koch brothers, AFP ran more than $30 million of 2012 election attack ads targeting President Obama.
Just HOW political were these ads? Political enough that the Chair of the Repubican Party released a statement accompanying the announcement of these ads. From Americans For Prosperity Ad Blasts Obama For Hope And Change Failure,
“Four years ago Americans entrusted that President Obama would truly bring ‘Hope and Change’ to Washington,” RNC Chair Reince Priebus said in a statement accompanying the new ads. “It is clear that he has failed to live up to his promises and has left our country with a mountain of debt and a health care bill that has cost the taxpayers trillions.”
A bit more on this from Tobacco giant funded conservative nonprofits, bt the Center for Public Integrity,
These groups, which obtain their nonprofit status because they say their “primary purpose” is not political activity, are generally under no legal obligation to detail their funding sources. Super PACs and other recognized political committees, by contrast, must report the names of their contributors who give more than $200 and the amounts they give.
Yet during the 2012 election cycle, various social welfare nonprofit organizations, emboldened by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in January 2010, spent more than $250 million to promote or attack federal political candidates, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The source of most of that money remains a mystery.
This is blatant, flat-out, unquestionable illegal campaign spending.
Maybe THIS has something to do with why the right is drumming up a false “scandal” claiming that the IRS “targeted” conservative groups. This is about scaring the IRS away from doing its job.
Remember the video of the guy in the “pimp costume” who got advice from ACORN employees on how to run his prostitution ring? Turns out the whole story was just a lie, a doctored-video smear job on an important organization. The guy never wore a “pimp costume” and the real, undoctored videos showed that ACORN employees did nothing wrong. But a lie travels around the world before the corporate media bothers to check the facts. The “news” media blasted the story everywhere, and Congress was so outraged they forced ACORN to close its doors. And here we are again.
The corporate media is blasting out the story that the IRS “targeted conservative groups.” Some in the media say there was “IRS harassment of conservative groups.” Some of the media are going so far as claiming that conservative groups were “audited.”
This story that is being repeated and treated as “true” is just not what happened at all. It is one more right-wing victimization fable, repeated endlessly until the public has no choice except to believe it.
Conservative Groups Were Not “Targeted,” “Singled Out” Or Anything Else
You are hearing that conservative groups were “targeted.” What you are not hearing is that progressive groups were also “targeted.” So were groups that are not progressive or conservative.
All that happened here is that groups applying to the IRS for special tax status were checked to see if they were engaged in political activity. They were checked, not targeted. Only one-third of the groups checked were conservative groups.
Once again: Only one-third of the groups checked were conservative groups.
A Republican who is claiming that the government was behind the Boston bombings says there is proof — that victim in the photo we all saw, who lost both legs, was “not in pain.”
Tremblay also praised a YouTube video featuring a man who says he’s retired Army Lt. Col. Roy Potter, claiming the federal government was behind the attack. Tremblay said Potter looks honest when he asserts the bombing motive was to divert attention from a pending indictment of President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush for war crimes, along with a drop in the price of gold and government dysfunction.
Potter says on the video that the federal government had planned to pin the marathon bombing on a “right wing extremist helped by al Qaeda,” but dropped the plan after being discovered.
Lets get these people away from power, please.