News Roundup for 9/20/11
America’s Second Least Useful Pundit, After Bill Kristol
-Headline of the Day-
"Yup, moderates and independents support taxing the rich."
If there’s one hobby you might consider taking up, it’s David Brooks avoidance. The New York Times columnist and TV talking head suffers from a really bad case of High Broderism that dictates that the only wise course for a politician — especially a Democratic politician — is straight down the center line of the interstate.
In his latest reality-challenged column, Brooks becomes very sad that President Obama has chosen a lane with his deficit reduction and job creation plans. “In his remarks Monday the president didn’t try to win Republicans to even some parts of his measures,” Brooks complains. “He repeated the populist cries that fire up liberals but are designed to enrage moderates and conservatives.”
See, when the chips are down, moderates always side with conservatives. Is there any evidence of this? Not especially, but don’t try to tell David Brooks that. It’s heresy in his Church of the Almighty Middle.
And don’t try to point out reality either. It’s not going to sink in. If Brooks hasn’t wised up by now, he’s never going to. But that doesn’t stop Greg Sargent from giving it the old college try.
"[A]s it happens, strong majorities of moderates and independents support tax hikes on the wealthy as the best way to close the deficit,” he points out and provides big poll numbers to prove it. Will taxing the wealthy “enrage” moderates? No. How do we know that? Because someone asked them!
Note to Dave: mindreading acts are unnecessary in a world where polling exists.
Seriously, the best first step you can take in understanding American politics well would be to swear to remain forever in ignorance of what David Brooks thinks. (Plum Line)
When you really think about Republican economic talking points, they don’t make a whole lot of sense.
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Which would explain why a lot of people don’t really think about them. (McClatchy)
"American Family Association Freaks Out Over Ice Cream Named After Testicles."
This is a real thing. (Wonkette)
Stories to Watch: 9/16/11
It’s been freakin’ cold around here. Well, cool anyway. By spring, I’m sure I’ll consider the low 60s to be just like summer. Now here’s the news…
Texas schools are quietly abandoning abstinence-only sex ed. Mostly because it’s been such a failure. Not good news for Rick Perry, who’s currently playing the super-Christian for the fact-free base.
Matt Yglesias points out that the math in Social Security privatization schemes doesn’t work.
Krugman weighs in on the “cheers for dead patients” moment at the CNN GOP debate.
The US Supreme Court halts the Texas execution of Duane Buck, who was put on death row after “jurors were told he posed a greater danger to public safety because he is black.” Rick Perry refused to intervene, because it’s hard to set records for executions when you’re all worried about justice and racism.
David Brooks wrote something stupid again. John Boehner was a liar again. Liz Cheney made a ridiculous claim again.
Congressional approvals hit an all time low in a NYT/CBS poll. A Bloomberg poll finds that people blame Republicans.
Finally, a measure of how credible people think Republicans are; the more GOP candidates talk about how much they disbelieve in anthropogenic global warming, the more the public believes in it.
Stories to Watch: 9/6/11
Hey, how was your Labor Day? Mine involved bratwurst, so it was perfect. Now here’s the news…
Boehner and Cantor want a pre-jobs-speech meeting with the president to “discuss potential areas of bipartisan agreement,” according to Politico. To translate that from Republican into English, they want to make threats, whine, and throw tantrums.
Is Rick Perry using wildfires in Texas to dodge debates? It sure seems that way. I mean, there’s no logistical reason that he has to be in the state, just as there’s no reason he has to be at the sites of the fires themselves. It’s not like he’s out there on the line, pitching in. Although, after what he’s done to the fire departments in Texas, they could probably use the help.
One reason Perry might not be eager to debate; he might be forced to answer questions about why his state has the worst numbers for health insurance coverage in the nation.
This is what happens when you give Republicans everything they demand. Knock it off, Mr. President.
David Brooks continues to suck, be ridiculous.
Ezra Klein talks economy, history, Republicans, stimulus, and “motivated skepticism.” Long story short, Republicans are freakin’ nuts.
Mittens Romney rolls out his own big jobs plan, ahead of President Obama’s speech on the same subject. You already know what’s in it; it’s got “GOP economic mumbo-jumbo” written all over it.
Finally, Dick Cheney is a man who is absolutely flawless in his own mind. In an interview with Wolf Blitzer, Cheney refused to admit to any mistakes at all in his eight years as VP. You know what this means, right? Getting hammered and shooting Harry Whittington in the face? Dick meant to do that.
Stories to Watch: 8/26/11
Short one today. I’ve got stuff I need to finish up. Now here’s the news…
David Brooks is no fan of Rick Perry. Not surprisingly, the ‘baggers are. Michele Bachmann continues to be yesterday’s news. In fact, her diva act is starting to get people’s nerves.
Hurricane Irene could be a “multi-billion dollar catastrophe,” according to Nate Silver. It probably won’t be, but it could be. You know that old saying about hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst? Yeah, maybe we should start applying that to something other than military spending.
Details of the Wisconsin Supreme Court dust up are out and the story’s still as clear as mud.
More on just how wrong Obama is about the value of phony centrism; polling shows independents — i.e., the center — wants him to fight the GOP more.
Remember how it was such an awful idea to bail out American automakers? Yeah, about that; it wasn’t.
Finally, Ron Paul pines for the good old days of federal disaster response. You know, back when there was no federal disaster response.
Stories to Watch: 7/29/11
One good thing about a heat wave; the grass doesn’t grow. But now it’s over and it’s back to the absurdity of harvesting a crop once a week and throwing it away. Somebody please come up with something better. This is stupid. Now here’s the news…
Sen. Chuck Schumer says, “It’s hard to imagine the Senate Republicans would actually filibuster the nation into default.” I hope I’m not writing later about Schumer’s lack of imagination.
David Kurtz offers a much more detailed and much less optimistic assessment of the debt ceiling situation; “[E]ven though my gut says there’s no way the U.S. is stupid enough to default, I still can’t see a clear, viable way out of this.”
Dana Millbank sees Boehner’s failure to push through his bill last night as a vote of no confidence for the Speaker.
Let me give you an idea of how insane the debt debate in Washington has become; Reuters reports that growth is “anemic” and that the debt standoff risks recession. So, of course, everyone agrees that this is the perfect time to reduce demand and increase unemployment by drastically cutting spending. DC is officially an irresponsible bubble of crazy completely insulated from reality. “I realize it’s fallen out of fashion to talk about things such as economic growth and job creation, and it’s apparently far too late for a conversational detour,” writes Steve Benen, “but it’s worth appreciating the jaw-dropping disconnect between what’s needed and what’s being discussed by policymakers.”
Jon Stewart has been on fire lately.
Krugman once again takes on the brainless, kneejerk, lazy evil of centrism. Irony alert: he does so while filling in for David Brooks.
Finally, The New Republic points out that the GOP no longer has a coherent foreign policy — in fact, it looks like they don’t have a foreign policy at all. Noeconservatism has failed and now they have no idea what to believe.
Stories to Watch: 7/5/11
Hope everyone had a good Fourth. I know I enjoyed it. Now here’s the news…
I mentioned earlier today that Richard Cohen compared the GOP to a cult and now it turns out that Republicans have gotten too crazy for David Brooks as well. All of which causes Steve Benen to wonder if the party has lost the punditry. Man, you sure hope so.
Of course, Brooks’ column was the worst thing ever.
As Republicans bash Democrats as being weak in defense of Israel, it pays to point out that this strategy isn’t working.
Rep. Tammy Baldwin still has eyes for Herb Kohl’s senate seat. Hope for this one to pan out, because it’d be like having a second Bernie Sanders in the Senate — only younger.
The crazy people’s candidate of choice; Rick Perry.
Newt’s campaign is pretty much flat busted broke.
Bristol Palin says her mom isn’t dumb. I’ve got to say, her mom hides that fact well.
Finally, Michele Bachmann wants to smite the wicked… Or something.
Stories to Watch: 6/14/11
Tonight, I dine on bratwurst! Huzzah! Now here’s the news…
There’s a surprising amount of consensus regarding last night’s GOP debate, but the most widely agreed upon opinion seems to be thatTim Pawlenty choked.
John Boehner discovers a dusty old bit of trivia called the “War Powers Act.” You’ve got to wonder where it was hiding when Bush was going all Yosemite Sam.
Meanwhile, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sics the law on Boehner, filing papersfor violating the law in his attempt to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.
David Brooks was dumb again.
Shelly Bachmann is all in for this presidential thing; she won’t run for reelection to congress. Let the rejoicing begin. Then again, I wouldn’t expect great things from the district that keeps voting for her. We’re probably just changing tires on the goofball-mobile here.
Brian Beutler fact-checks the fact-checkers on Medicare and finds them off-base.
Finally, here’s your non-surprise of the day: CEOs are four times more likely to be psychopaths than the general population.
Stories to Watch: 4/19/11
Weather is insane here. It’s been switching all day between rain, sleet, and snow. There’s thunder and lightning to boot. But the worst is that the snow has accumulated. It’s out there right now. Covering the lawn. Out in the open. In broad daylight. Seemingly unashamed. Now here’s the news…
New York Times columnist David Brooks has an especially dumb one out today. Turns out that Donald Trump is doing well among GOP voters because Americans really like assholes. No seriously. If you don’t believe me, check it out. That’s his argument in a nutshell.
In the same piece, Brooks transforms soft-spoken George Soros into “an abrasive rich man” and “a straight-talking, obnoxious blowhard,” simply because he couldn’t think of a lefty counterweight to “George Steinbrenner, Ross Perot, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Bobby Knight, [and] Howard Stern.” The whole thing is Broderism run amok.
Crazyassed bullshit Republicans believe, item #5,347,291: Half of Iowa Republicans are birthers.
Latest “Donald Trump is a commie” news: Trump’s book The Art of the Deal called Reagan a “con man.” He also refuses to release his tax returns — which is going to be kind of illegal if his hoax goes into the filing-to-run stage.
Stuff everyone knows, confirmed. Iraq was just a war for oil.
Wisconsin Republicans facing recalls now number four, Democrats number zero. A fifth may be in the works.
Finally, a McClatchy-Marist poll finds that Republican plans to gut Medicare are really unpopular — even among teabaggers. Teagan Goddard wonders, “Did Republicans just walk off a cliff?”