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Showing posts from October, 2012

Today's Pix

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Doonesbury

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Aircraft Carriers

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China recently unveiled its brand new toy - which it bought (as surplus) from Ukraine - and which BTW, has yet to be fitted out to make it capable of launching and landing AIRPLANES.

Correct - China has an aircraft carrier that can't carry aircraft.  I feel so threatened.


Your Civics Homework

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We might get around to fixing this one of these days - but I'm not holding my breath.

Oh, Willard

Willard's team decided they'd try to make it look like they had any fuckin' clue on what to do about the problems thrown at us by Superstorm Sandy, so they dressed up a campaign rally to look like they give a rat's ass about anything but themselves.

Too typical.  But it points up (again) the simple fact that the Repubs are always trying to substitute these empty gestures and photo ops for real policy and helpful action.

Balloon Juice takes 'em down.
But Romney is shameless. He wants to use Sandy’s destruction as a media hook, so he re-branded his rally for the stupid and gullible members of the press as a “storm relief’ effort. To underscore the stupid deception, Mitt asked attendees to bring can goods to the rally, as if random truckloads of unsorted can goods flooding a disaster area are useful. The Red Cross is pretty specific that these kinds of efforts produce piles of supplies that cannot be used and cause real problems for relief efforts:Does the American Red …

Unconfirmed

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..but of course, we can run with it because of the rule: "Significant If True".






















So eat it, Repubs.  You wanna make shit up about Obama, then you can bloody well expect to get it back.

Gettin' It Done - 6

It's not a good idea to celebrate the violent destruction of a fellow human being, and it's not in keeping with the high concept of Due Process just to hunt a guy down and kill him, but if there's ever a good reason to make exceptions, Osama bin Laden was it.
6. Eliminated Osama bin laden: In 2011, ordered special forces raid of secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in which the terrorist leader was killed and a trove of al-Qaeda documents was discovered.

Sandy The Keynesian Hurricane

Wanna see straight up Keynesian Economics at work?  Take a good look at what happens when FEMA and other Federal Assistance is administered properly over the next few months.

We had a little peek at it after Irene, but now we're gonna see it all happen center stage.

From Crooks & Liars:
Now, don't get me wrong. There's no way in hell I'm happy about this storm (in fact, I'd like to send an invoice to oil lobbyists and tell them to split the bill) and after it's done, there will be people who died (sixteen on the East Coast, 69 in the Caribbean as of this writing), and countless others left homeless, but there is a small silver lining in all those clouds.Because the construction industry has been moribund for a while. Now it will explode, and a lot of people who didn't have jobs will have them.And those people who have those new jobs will spend money, and that will create more jobs. How many? That depends on how much money the feds put into the recovery. …

Wouldn't It Be Nice?

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Yeah - they're prob'ly not really able to do it - pretty cool if they could tho'.  And that's how it starts.

During A National Emergency

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...what does leadership look like?  Let's see:


Today's Krugman

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He's been on a bit of a hot streak lately - except maybe for his choice in music.

He makes a great point in this post, not only about Nate Silver's 538 thing, but about the GOP's  Bubble of Alternative Reality.
This is really scary. It means that if these people triumph, science — or any kind of scholarship — will become impossible. Everything must pass a political test; if it isn’t what the right wants to hear, the messenger is subjected to a smear campaign. From the comments:


And:

Gettin' It Done - 7

"Saved the US car business" may be overblown hyperbole and graceful understatement all at once.  Government shouldn't be in the business of propping up failing enterprises.  There is such a thing as a life cycle, and it applies to companies and to whole industry sectors as well as to people (also to countries, but that's a different post).  So I'm always worried that throwing tax dollars at a business problem is just postponing the inevitable.  It's a really tough call, but sometimes you have to pull the plug.  All that said, if you don't have the capability to produce stuff that you can sell, then you don't have an economy.  Lose your manufacturing base and you're on your way to losing it all.  Not understanding that concept was one of the hugest mistakes we made in the 80s and 90s.

I'll admit right now that I was all for Free Trade agreements like NAFTA,et al - thinking it'd be good for us if American businesses had to compete just like…

The Mustache Of Understanding

Tom Friedman used to be a pretty decent writer who had decent ideas and a decent regard for what goes in the world.  The only decent thing about him these days is that he's still a decent writer - or more accurately: he can put words together in a way that makes a point and makes it fairly easy to understand the point.

Here he is trying desperately to keep us from realizing how culpable he is for having contributed mightily to the steaming pile of crap that is Centrism, while not working nearly hard enough to keep the Repubs from losing their minds completely.
HARD-LINE conservatives have gone to new extremes lately in opposing abortion. Last week, Richard Mourdock, the Tea Party-backed Republican Senate candidate in Indiana, declared during a debate that he was against abortion even in the event of rape because after much thought he “came to realize that life is that gift from God. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended…

A Quickie

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Undecided Voters get a lot of attention, and I think the spanking they're finally taking is richly deserved and long overdue.



I think I can (mostly) conclude that The Undecided Voter is trying to rationalize his apathy by hiding behind this phony impartiality.  Being "undecided" becomes a way to deflect criticism for staying deliberately ignorant of practically the whole process.  And the more we kiss their asses trying to move them one way or another, the more Undecided Voters we create - because we end up rewarding this childish behavior.

In the end, Undecided is just another form of Both Sides Do It / They're All The Same etc.

It's bullshit and they need to be called out for it.

This Is How Ya Do It

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Whatever it is you're trying to do, you get your ass out there and you sell the fuckin' thing.



"I refuse to see us live on the accomplishments of another generation."

"The business of government is the business of the people, and the people are right here."


Gettin' It Done - 8

Personally, I kinda like having an economy that works; even one that's not great, but still manages to limp along at a 1 or 2% growth rate, in spite of all the best efforts of a certain opposition party in Washington.
8. Recapitalized Banks: In the midst of financial crisis, approved controversial Treasury Department plan to lure private capital into the country’s largest banks via “stress tests” of their balance sheets and a public-private fund to buy their “toxic” assets. Got banks back on their feet at essentially zero cost to the government. One of the biggest problems we have right now is that Obama hasn't gone after many of the worst offenders - the banksters (et al) who helped blow up the mortgage bubble that blew up the financial system.

It would be monument-worthy badass if the Prez took on Wall Street and beat 'em into submission - ala JFK in '61 against Big Steel, and again in '62 when he actually put a few Big Utilities execs in jail on charges of collu…

Today's Pix

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Gettin' It Done - 9

It may well be impossible to create the "perfect union", but our founding documents require us to keep trying.  And until we all have the full compliment of rights and privileges due us under the law, we're all 2nd class citizens in one way or another.   9. Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Ended 1990s-era restriction and formalized new policy allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military for the first time.

In Bed With Willard

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Bill Maher makes the point about electing a lot more than just Mitt Romney.  Put this guy in the White House, and every bumpkin with a bus ticket and a bad idea will be headed back to Washington to collect on what he thinks Willard owes him for turning out the Radical Right Voters.  Do you really want Grover Norquist, Bryan Fisher and Sheldon Adelson picking a replacement for Ruth Bader-Ginsberg?

Tweets Are The New Bumper Sticker

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...or graffiti or t-shirts or whatever.

It's The Horse Race, Stupid

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Pro-Life My Ass

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This Takes Guts

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A post at Balloon Juice:
The Romney Campaign and the entire modern Conservative movement is very easy to understand. It is all about race. Full stop. For these people, every election is an attempt to use fear, anger and even hate of brown folks to inspire white folks to vote against their self-interest and support their Galtian overlords.
I'm really hoping this isn't to be taken at face value.  I'm hoping there're people in the GOP who hate this kinda shit as much as the rest of us.  But I'm really concerned that the ghost of Lee Atwater is setting the strategy, and because it works, that it'll continue apace.

I'm also hoping this isn't simply a knee-jerk reaction from "the left"; that it's not just sitting and taking shots; sniping from the bushes.  I don't like it, but I can't just ignore it either.

Gettin' It Done - 10

Kinda continuing with the theme from yesterday's post (Gettin' It Done - 11).

This one really seems to stick in Willard's craw - or more accurately, in WIllard's advisors' craw, cuz that guy seriously has no tho'ts of his own on Foreign Policy.  Anyway, they first tried to slam Obama for "leading from behind", but then they found out nobody supported direct US involvement.  Next, they tried to slam him for "following the French", but then they found out that all that "French-ified leadership" was depending on American-supplied intel (which everybody called indispensable), and without which, (eg) they'd still be talking about the Slaughter in Benghazi.  And on and on and on.
10. Toppled Moammar Gaddafi: In March 2011, joined a coalition of European and Arab governments in military action, including air power and naval blockade, against Gaddafi regime to defend Libyan civilians and support rebel troops. Gaddafi’s forty-two-year r…

Serious Wonkette

I've been in some FaceBook fights over the last year or so with some "friends" who have ended up calling me "the enemy".  Some of these guys are standard-issue wingnuts and they're pretty wacky and kookie and I tend to see them as little more than a fringe-y and colorful thing that serves as a distraction for the Press Poodles, but doesn't represent anything of substance.

I really hope that's the case, but when Wonkette has a hard time smiling about it, there may be real cause for worry.
A man advocating executing journalists for treason in honor of Free Speech Week for being too supportive of the American president just described other people as “Orwellian.” This week marks the 50th anniversary of The Cuban Missile Crisis.  I bring that up because in the middle of all the shit, JFK managed to remember history, and specifically recalled the warnings from The Guns of August. ie: everybody has a plan; everybody follows their plan; and the whole thing b…

Obama Ad

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Lena Dunham is the creative genius behind a series on HBO called Girls.  (One of my new faves)



And of course, "conservatives" are freaking out about it - I think mostly because the GOP's Cool Factor number is making a serious attempt at dipping below absolute zero.

Gettin' It Done - 11

In the last "debate", Willard said something like "we don't dictate to the world, Mr President, we help people overthrow the dictators", it was an Etch-A-Sketch moment for the ages.  He said it with great confidence and authority, as if he believed in his heart of hearts that the noble GOP still somehow held a clear advantage on Foreign Policy issues.  And he said it as if he really expected all of us to have forgotten completely that Obama helped out in Tunisia; and had knocked over Qaddafi; and is still applying constant pressure on Saleh; and is pushing Assad, and...
11. Told Mubarak to Go: On February 1, 2011, publicly called on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to accept reform or step down, thus weakening the dictator’s position and putting America on the right side of the Arab Spring. Mubarak ended thirty-year rule when overthrown on February 11. Whatever sounds good for his argument right now is what Willard says.  The heat of the moment is all that matt…

Important Rape Advisory Update

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Hat tip(s) = BlueGal and Daily Kos


People

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Lizz and Sarah tell us what it is.

Today's Pix

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Oops

So Trump the Chump did his little bombshell thing yesterday, and wow - what a fuckin' stinker that was.  The bastard totally screwed up my chance to crow and brag and strut around - asshole that he is, I'm sure that's exactly what he was planning all along.

So, I was wrong yesterday when I posted my prediction that Lil Donny's big revelation would be about Obama and divorce (Out On A Limb).

But Jesus, dude - you wanna fuck with the Prez and your idea is to try a little extortion?  You turn it into a very bad thing that essentially takes a charity hostage?  Why not just give the money to the charity and stop being such a dick about it?

Gettin' It Done - 12

Yeah, I know - Obama didn't do a lot of the things he should've done: Gitmo and Military Commissions and Black Sites and Drone Attacks and Habeas Corpus and and and.  All true, except that he's also been pretty busy issuing Exec Orders to the effect: "while the legal authority exists for us to do all these really shitty things that are totally unconstitutional or extra-judicial or straight up illegal, I'm directing members of the Executive Branch not to do them - if you guys think that's possible."

I think Obama's been trying to get some political cover (duh); both so he can use the tools he's got to go after the bad guys, and to defend himself from the shit-slingers.  So he doesn't get good marks for closely following the law, but since he's "my guy", I'll have to cop to believing I can trust him more than I'd trust "their guy".  
12. Reversed Bush Torture Policies: Two days after taking office, nullified Bush-…

A New One

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Just a good place to go once in a while to get a little bleach splashed on your soul.

Atheist Overdose


Out On A Limb

I have to admit I've been a little intrigued by what Lil Donny Trump's October Surprise could possibly turn out to be.  But then, along comes Gloria Allred and it's very possible that I can make a solid connection, and a prediction with a fair probability of being right.

First, the leading speculation seems to be that Trump has "uncovered" some "evidence" indicating that Barack and Michelle Obama were like all set to file divorce papers back in 2001 or whatever.  So this is not a big deal in any meaningful way except as a political tool.  Did the Obamas get a divorce?  No.  Did they move beyond some kind of preliminary filing?  Apparently not cuz they're like y'know, still married.  Does any of that shit matter?  Yes - but only if you think I should be in jail because I've tho't about kicking Donald Trump in the nuts; or that Tagg Romney should be in a cell at Gitmo for saying he wanted to take a swing at Obama.

Enter Ms Allred, who is h…

Today's Krugman

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Via NYT:
One of the central talking points of right-wing economists is that “uncertainty” caused by Obama is holding the economy back; they cite, again and again, a paper by Bloom et al purporting to find a relationship between uncertainty and jobs, with uncertainty measured via such things as article counts. The certainty meme has always irked me.  Why is uncertainty such a big deal for these guys?  Are we supposed to remove all risk from every business venture so the mighty capitalist heroes can be absolutely guarantied to turn a monster profit?

I'm hoping they're talking more along the lines of just reducing the probability of some screwball politician changing something that unfairly upsets the applecart at inopportune times.  Of course, that's what they're selling - that Obama will do something that makes it harder for a business to flourish.  But what has Obama done that in any reasonable (or even discernible) way has depressed the economy, or made it more diffic…

Today's Pix

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Gettin' It Done - 13

Unfortunately, a double-digit percentage of Americans still believe the Apology Tour bullshit.  Which fits perfectly with the double-digit percentage who still think Sadam had something to do with 9/11, and the double-digit percentage who think Climate Change is a hoax, and and and.  Sometimes, it's really hard for me not to say, "fuck 'em".  I'd like to think I could write them off and forget about them because they'll never change and so it's not worth trying.  And sometimes, I do say that, but as mushy as it sounds, they're my neighbors and my friends and my in-laws.  So, since I'm not planning to murder them, I guess I just need to keep hammering away, and hope I can get one or two to listen.  That's what I'm thinking today anyway.
13. Improved America’s Image Abroad: With new policies, diplomacy, and rhetoric, reversed a sharp decline in world opinion toward the U.S. (and the corresponding loss of “soft power”) during the Bush years. …

Yo, Willard

I didn't watch the "debates".  I'll go along with the many people who say these things are little more than 90 minutes of dueling campaign ads.  Altho', this time, we did get a new wrinkle in that Willard turned it into a more conventional sales pitch.  It really does look and sound like Romney's in there pimping a deal for his group to take over USA, Inc.  Which I think may be a lot closer to the truth than I'm comfortable with.  My biggest problem is that whenever we elect Repubs, we get way too many freakazoids in the bargain (NeoCons, TheoCons, Cold War Retreads, et al) - we gotta remember that the prez isn't the only guy we're handing power to.  So it's iffy enough when you put a guy in the Oval Office who doesn't know his way around Capitol Hill; or doesn't know much about Foreign Affairs; or isn't particularly up on International Trade.  Obama was a big risk 4 years ago because his resume was pretty damned thin, but he seeme…

Gettin' It Done - 14

One of the things that didn't work out so well when everybody was busily hacking away at "all that Washington red tape that strangles commerce" was that we ended up boondoggling the financial sector to the point that we might as well have nationalized the banks.

It's interesting to me that the "conservatives" are always accusing their opponents of hiding a socialistic agenda, when they're the ones making it impossible for banks to operate without a guaranty of government help.  The banks borrow money from the government at ridiculously low rates to begin with, and then If the borrower defaults, Uncle Sugar steps in to pay off the loan.  So who the fuck is the socialist in all of this?
14. Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program, Expanded Pell Grant Spending: As part of the 2010 health care reform bill, signed measure ending the wasteful decades-old practice of subsidizing banks to provide college loans. Starting July 2010 all students began ge…

Pick 'Em

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Once upon a time, there was a thing called The 4th Estate.





















But now it's just a flea market where you pick and choose your own message, your own messenger, and whatever "facts" you need to build your own reality.  Unless you're prepared to spend most of your day trying to figure out what's real and what ain't, you're forever relegated to the giant pile of nuthin' under the heading: Low Information Voter.
We are so fucked.

Today's Pix

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Gin Wingmore

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Music is recyclable and derivative, but that's not a bad thing in a lot of cases.  As long as people come up with this kinda stuff, Buddy Holly and Bo Diddley will never die.



hat tip = Crooks & Liars

Reset

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Today's Krugman

Lifted all of it - short and sweet and oh so tasty (NYT):
David Dayen makes a very good point, which I missed: during the Hofstra debate, in which questions were posed by members of the public rather than the Beltway elite, there wasn’t a single question about the deficit. Not one. The public really doesn’t care.And you know what? Neither do financial markets, which continue to lend to the U.S. government at incredibly low rates.Meanwhile, the results from austerity are in — and it’s now clear that the adverse economic impacts of austerity in a depressed economy are much worse than the elite imagined (although Keynesian economists knew better), and are in fact so severe that austerity is largely self-defeating, having little impact on the budget deficit even in the short run because reduced revenue takes away much of the initial savings. Once you take long-run effects into account, austerity is almost surely self-defeating.Yet deficit fever, with demands for spending cuts right away, h…

Gettin' It Done - 15

I think it's a good idea whenever you put real money into public schools.  But I don't like things like privatization and high-stakes testing.  I'm fairly sure the people advocating for Race To The Top mean well - people who dive in and fuck things up always mean well - I just don't think you improve the schools if you don't improve the neighborhoods.
15. Created Race to the Top: With funds from stimulus, started $4.35 billion program of competitive grants to encourage and reward states for education reform.

Lying For The Lord

Google that - "lying for the lord".

Read thru a few of the hits and after you make the easy connection to Willard being a lying sack of shit, tell me it has nothing to do with the basics of what we know about a "ruling elite" (ala Leo Strauss) and the sense of entitlement engendered by a system of intergenerational wealth transfer.

Then ask the questions.

Does Meghan McCain get to where she is without mommy's money and daddy's connections?

What about Luke Russert?

GW Bush can trace his lineage back to Franklin Pierce.

If this is to be the meritocracy we like to believe it should be, then we have to re-establish rules that require the Idiot Offspring of The Nobles to start at the same place as everybody else, and to meet the same criteria as everybody else, and to do the work everybody else is required to do.

If you're in favor of "Equal Opportunity and not Equal Outcomes", then stop supporting a system that practically guaranties inequality.

Gettin' It Done - 17 & 16

This one means there's a fair probability that my cost for for a fill-up won't increase by much.  That is, of course, as long as Big Oil allows the Free Market to work the way it's supposed to work (always a little iffy).
16. Boosted Fuel Efficiency Standards: Released new fuel efficiency standards in 2011 that will nearly double the fuel economy for cars and trucks by 2025.
I'd forgotten about this one.  There's plenty to worry about when it comes to trying to put out a fire by pouring several hundred tons of money on it, but sometimes all you can do is take the least bad option on a menu filled with really shitty alternatives.  I just wish I felt more assured that Obama's team is doing something to make the next meltdown less likely to happen, and less damaging when it does.
17. Coordinated International Response to Financial Crisis: To keep world economy out of recession in 2009 and 2010, helped secure from G-20 nations more than $500 billion for the IMF to…

The Real Mitt Romney

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"I'm not looking for a colony on the moon, just for someone to blame."

Whether You Can Hear It Or Not

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...the universe is laughing behind your back.

Prayers

Remember this one?   God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference. Yeah - uhm - fuck that.  Try this one instead:
May God bless us with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that we may live from deep within our hearts. May God bless us with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of God's creations
So that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace. May God bless us with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy. And may God bless us with just enough foolishness
To believe that we can make a difference in the world,
So that we can do what others claim cannot be done:
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and all our neighbors who are poor. Amen, muthahfuckah.

hat tip = The Professional Left podcast, episode 150

Romnesia?

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...No problem - gotcha covered.

Hippie Punching

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...turned upside down.

Fighting Back

Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone posted a decent little blurb about Bill O'Reilly's fact-free crap attack on Bill Moyers:

When I went into Bill's studio yesterday, I heard about a crazy dustup he had recently with Bill O'Reilly, the details of which are extremely aggravating in a way that, as anyone who has followed this political season knows – this is a story about someone getting facts wrong – is becoming increasingly and unpleasantly familiar. What happened was that in his much-publicized debate with Jon Stewart, O'Reilly bashed PBS for funding lefty agitators like Bill Moyers. "Here's what we get – a $16 trillion debt, and we've gotta pay for Bill Moyers," O'Reilly boomed. He also at one point held up a flash card with a picture of Moyers, along with the headline, "Why is NPR getting our money?" Taibbi also links to the Rebuttal from Bill Moyers, which is fine-point accurate, but kinda points up what seems like a pettiness of the who…

Same Shit, New Day

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Repubs absolutely adore this play.  They run it all the time.


hat tip = Addicting Info

In 2004 and 2008, RushBo and Cheney at al were telling us that if we voted for the Dems, al-Qaeda would get us.  Now it's "Vote Republican or lose your job".  There's just always a boogey-man du jour.  But, Repubs (generally) use threats that aren't firmly anchored in a little thing called objective reality.  We elected Obama, and none of the bad things they told us would happen happened.

no concentration campsno confiscation of gunstaxes are down, and the Dow is upoil and banks and telecomm weren't nationalizedno forced gay marriage (or whatever the fuck that one was about)kids are still reciting The Pledge in school every dayand on and on and on
But - throwing a bone to the centrists in the crowd - yes, the Dems play the same game (tho' with one notable difference).  The Dems have been trying to warn us about the Repub agenda:

kill the unionsoverturn Roe v Wadedefund th…

Gettin' It Done - 18

I don't like spending more money than we've got, and I don't like debt and I don't like thinking we're losing control of the size of government, and I don't like all the things that everybody else doesn't like about the economic pickle we're in.  But this is so simple it's stupid - if nobody's spending money, you don't have an economy.
18. Passed Mini Stimuli: To help families hurt by the recession and spur the economy as stimulus spending declined, signed series of measures (July 22, 2010; December 17, 2010; December 23, 2011) to extend unemployment insurance and cut payroll taxes.

Bad Lip Reading

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From last week:

Today's Pix

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