Stories to Watch: 10/17/11
There probably won’t be any morning post tomorrow. I’ve got some projects I need to finish up around here (most notably, replacing a kitchen faucet) and then that night I’m going to see Boris at the Majestic Theater. Gonna be awesome. So my day’s pretty much all planned out. Other posting may be limited — depends one how much trouble that faucet gives me. If you’re looking for something to fill the time, check out this Boris playlist on YouTube and thank me later. One of my great loves is the sound of a humbucker pickup running through a big tube amp. Now here’s the news…
Krugman defends Occupy Wall Street from Wall Street — masterfully, as always.
Liberal media? What liberal media?
Saturday Night Live is totally the reason that Rick Santorum’s campaign isn’t taking off like wildfire. Totally. If they ever stop making victim cards, Rick’s going to be out of arguments.
Gallup finds that half of America would back marijuana legalization.
Wingnut outrage of the day: a Texas high school Spanish class has the audacity to teach students about the dreaded Mexico. Kids recite the Mexican pledge of allegiance and sing the national anthem, which automatically makes them Mexicans who should be deported — because it’s illegal to be Mexican. Clearly, this is the worst thing ever. What’s next, celebrating Bastille Day, like the dirty Canadians?
This ought to be good; Eric Cantor is scheduled to give a speech about income inequality. He’s says he’s against it, but it kind of looks a lot like he’s also going to come out for it. It’s a cake-apalooza — Cantor tries to have his cake and eat it too, while delivering the GOP’s “let them eat cake” economic message.
Herman Cain, defender of your God-given freedom to get hammered and drive.
Finally, Rick Perry’s campaign plans to go fullblown anti-Mormon on Mitt Romney. The details are pretty ugly.
News Roundup for 9/2/11
Worker in a Republican Utopia
-Headline of the Day-
"Regulations, taxes aren’t killing small business, owners say."
One thing you can count on with Republicans is that they’re guaranteed to get supply and demand bass-ackwards and wrong, every time. Let me explain the modern conservative economic model for you and you’ll see what I mean.
First, you give businesses tax cuts and gut regulations. If you do this, regardless of demand, businesses will hire people, because that’s what business are for — hiring people. It’s a liberal myth that people start businesses to make money. They do it to become the lofty and selfless “job creator.” Every time you’ve got a little extra money, you go out and hire another worker.
If demand is low, this means that businesses will hire people to do jobs that no one needs done. They’ll lean on brooms or watch monkeys on YouTube or something for a while, because small businesses are charities and they’re cool with that. After a while, everyone’s drawing a paycheck for YouTube monkey viewing, they start spending that money, and — voila! — you’ve got demand. Now all these workers have something to do. No more YouTube monkeys and capitalism is saved!
Strangely enough, the world doesn’t work anything like that at all. Businesses seem to believe they’re in the business of making money, not jobs, and stubbornly refuse to hire workers when they don’t need workers. You can cut taxes and strip regulations all you want, but if the demand for the goods or services isn’t there, then they’re not going to hire anybody. I think maybe because they’re commies or something.
So McClatchy newspapers went out to verify the obvious. They contacted small business owners to get their take on taxes and regulations. “Their response was surprising,” they report. “None of the business owners complained about regulation in their particular industries, and most seemed to welcome it. Some pointed to the lack of regulation in mortgage lending as a principal cause of the financial crisis that brought about the Great Recession of 2007-09 and its grim aftermath.”.
There you have it, the American jobs crisis is the fault of small business owners — because they refuse to put their heads in the clouds with Republicans, like decent Americans should. (McClatchy)
-Cartoon time with Mark Fiore-
Hey kids, Thursdays are usually cartoon day, but Uncle Mark was sick or one vacation or something and it was this whole big thing…
Anyway, Xeth is filling in and he’s got a cartoon called:
Click for animation
And rocket packs. We were supposed to have rocket packs. The Jetsons was just a horrible lie. (MarkFiore.com)
"Palin to Rip ‘Crony Capitalism’ in Iowa Speech."
Wait, what? (RealClearPolitics)
Rep. Paul Ryan Hides Behind a Paywall
What is that I smell; is it fear or blood in the water?
It will cost $15 to ask Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) a question in person during the August congressional recess.
The House Budget Committee chairman isn’t holding any face-to-face open-to-the-public town hall meetings during the recess, but like several of his colleagues he will speak only for residents willing to open their wallets.
Ryan, who took substantial criticism from his southeast Wisconsin constituents in April after he introduced the Republicans’ budget proposal, isn’t the only member of congress whose August recess town hall-style meetings are strictly pay-per-view.
That’s right, Paul Ryan is hiding behind a paywall — along with Reps. Ben Quayle of Arizona and Chip Cravaack of Minnesota. Basically, the idea is this; the events are fundraisers, so it costs you a ticket price to get in. Obviously, the hope is that this will be a disincentive to critics, since they have to throw money in the Reps campaign war chests to voice their concerns.
"And what about those voters who don’t want to pony up just to talk to their member of Congress or can’t afford a ticket? They’re out of luck," explains Steve Benen. “Try sending a letter that will be read by an office assistant who will gladly send you a nice form letter in response.”
When Democrats began cancelling their town halls in 2009, because of disruptive protesters from the nascent Tea Party — then known only as “town hall mobs” — then-Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele accused Democrats of “hiding from the American people.” So we should expect that Ryan, Quayle, and Cravaack will receive criticism just as sharp from GOP leadership, right?
Ok, probably not. Republicans do not adore the hobgoblin of a foolish consistency. In fact, a Ryan spokesperson has washed his boss’s hands of the whole thing. It’s not his fault. Nothing he can do. According to the report, the spokesperson said Ryan had absolutely nothing to do with “the Whitnall Park Rotary Club’s decision to charge $15 for admission— a fee that will pay for the catered lunch of meat and potatoes the group will provide.”
Nothing, that is, except not really scheduling any other public events. HAnd, given the way the market tanked after Ryan and company’s default-denialism, he probably owes his constituents a free ham sandwich at least. Or at least an explanation.
But they’ll have a tough time getting it. Ryan says he’ll still be taking “business tours” — presumably of friendly businesses for photo ops. He’ll also still be having office hours, where I’m absolutely sure he’ll be happy to meet with an angry unemployed autoworker in between corporate lobbyists. And, as Benen pointed out, you can always write and get a canned response that almost certainly won’t answer your questions or concerns. What’s important isn’t that Rep. Paul Ryan face his constituents and explain his actions, what’s important is that there aren’t any YouTube videos of angry voters telling Ryan exactly what they think. There’s reelection next November to think about, after all.
News Roundup for 5/20/11
Get out your party hats!
-Headline of the day-
“The Rapture Is Not Saturday — It’s Tonight.”
End times lunatic Harold Camping predicted the Rapture would come “at exactly 6 p.m. on May 21, 2011.” The problem? Time zones; six o’clock where?
According to the report, “The Rapture is at 6 p.m. on May 21, 2011, where ever it’s 6 p.m. first, with the ‘fantastically big’ world-ending event taking place on a time zone by time zone basis.” This means that first on the cosmic chopping block is “the International Dateline at 180 Longitude — roughly the between Pago Pago, American Samoa, and Nuku’alofa, Tonga.”
So, what time is it there? As of this writing, Sat. May 21, 2011 9:26:07 — you can check it here (under Samoa or Tonga). That’s 9 am, so we’ve got a little time yet. After that, “Everyone will be weeping and wailing because they’ll know in a few hours it’ll come to their city,” says Camping.
So if you’re planning a big “end of the world” shindig for tomorrow, you can forget it — knowing what happened in Tonga is really going to spoil the suspense. Make it a “we survived the end of the world” party and dance your heathen ass off. (The Atlantic)
-The Tale of Gingrich-
Appearing on The Colbert Report, John Lithgow gives voice to a florid, overheated press release by Newt Gingrich’s campaign:
Pretty good, but I still like this version better. (YouTube)
“Tea Party Rally Fizzles in South Carolina.”
Seriously, it was just sad. (Political Wire)
News Roundup for 5/4/11
Steve Doyle, who won a Republican district by not being the Republican
-Headline of the day-
"Wisconsin Democrats Win Seat That Was Held By Republicans For Sixteen Years In Special Election."
In what could be seen as a taste of things to come, Steve Doyle defeated Republican John Lautz in a special election for the Wisconsin District 94 Assembly. The district had been Republican for sixteen years and the election was held to fill the seat vacated by Mike Huebsch, who joined the Walker administration.
According to the report, “Doyle actually won despite ‘a barrage of television and radio attacks by third-party groups, along with mailings from the Jobs First Coalition, a Brookfield, Wis.-based group tied to Scott Jensen, the former Republican state Assembly speaker who left office in 2002 amid misconduct allegations.’” How did he win?
Lautz made the mistake of running as a pro-Walker candidate who thought that union-busting was a great idea to “get our fiscal house in order.”
Yeah, turns out you don’t want to do that. (ThinkProgress)
-President McCain on Pakistan-
A quick look at the man who could’ve been our president. John McCain promises to chase Osama bin Laden “to the gates of Hell"…
…but not into Pakistan.
I’m kind of thinking the election worked out for the best. (YouTube)
"New study says Paul Krugman is top prognosticator."
All that crazy commie stuff that comes out of Krugman’s mouth? Turns out that, where someone could be proven right, he was right.
Wanna see the bottom of the list? “Those scoring lowest… with negative tallies were conservative columnist Cal Thomas; U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC); U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI); U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, a McCain supporter and Democrat-turned-Independent from Connecticut; Sam Donaldson of ABC; and conservative columnist George Will.”
Don’t listen to those guys. (Crooks and Liars)