In the clip embedded below, Rachel Maddow discussed how Republican attempts to restrict voting access for traditionally Democratic constituencies has re-energized and given new focus to the civil rights movement. As the 50th anniversary of the March…
Here we go again with yet another GOP “manufactured crisis“…
Surprise! With the sequester, our lawmakers have once again manufactured a totally unnecessary and very harmful crisis
Well isn’t this familiar. Once again, our feckless politicians have pushed the nation to the brink over a problem that they created but can’t solve. Pick your cliché: We’re about to go over a cliff. The sky is falling. The ax will drop. And guess what? An even bigger crisis — a possible government shutdown — awaits at the end of March. In Washington, the good times just keep on coming.
I’m guessing that by now you know what the sequester is. If not: The federal government is about to begin cutting $1.2 trillion in spending, divided among defense and domestic programs. That sounds like a lot, but it’s spread over a decade. It amounts to about two pennies on the dollar.
There are a few good things to say about the sequester, but there seem to be more bad ones. On the plus side: Spending cuts might prevent another downgrade of the federal government’s long-term credit rating. Major rating agencies like S&P and Moody’s have warned of another ratings cut, which would further tarnish America’s financial reputation. Also: Cutting two cents out of every dollar is, sequester advocates say, hardly disastrous. The federal government is bloated and redundant. A few quick examples to illustrate this point:
* There are 15 agencies overseeing food-safety laws
* There are more than 20 different programs to help the homeless
* There are 44 overlapping employment and job training programs
These findings were part of a 345-page report in 2011 by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that identified “81 areas for consolidation” among overlapping agencies and programs. The report says “reducing or eliminating duplication, overlap or fragmentation” could potentially save “tens of billions of dollars” annually and help agencies provide “more efficient and effective services.”
- News Analysis: Sequester cuts no big deal to U.S. stock market (nzweek.com)
- Sequester facts: What happens next, what gets cut (constitutioncenter.org)
- Can a possible government shutdown save us from the sequester? (washingtonpost.com)
- Avoid The Sequester By Eliminating Government Waste (godfatherpolitics.com)
- Explaining the Sequester (americanclarion.com)
- The Affects of Sequestration on The Nashville Real Estate Market (prweb.com)
As per The United States Constitution, an elected President must be sworn in on January 20th of the year following the election. The inaugural “pomp and circumstance” version will occur tomorrow January 21st 2013 because January 20th fell on a Sunday. January 21, 2013 is also the national floating holiday for Martin Luther King’s birthday.
H/t: Yankee Clipper
- Obama, Biden Swearing In Ceremonies (abcnews.go.com)
- President Obama Sworn in to 2nd Term (huffingtonpost.com)
- Congratulations Mr President YesYou Have Done It Again 2 More Years (malikalovenotes.wordpress.com)
- Biden officially sworn in for second term (cbsnews.com)
- It’s Official: Obama and Biden Sworn-In for Another Four Years (theatlanticwire.com)
After remaining completely silent in the week following the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, the National Rifle Association (NRA) held a press conference in Washington D.C. on Friday to call for more guns in schools and blame the media for glorifying violence, while demonizing gun owners.
Below are the 10 craziest statements from NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre’sprepared remarks:
1) Gun-free schools zones “tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.”
2) “There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.
3) “[V]iolent crime is increasing again for the first time in 19 years! Add another hurricane, terrorist attack or some other natural or man-made disaster, and you’ve got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization.”
4) “We need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work —and by that I mean armed security.”
5) “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away … or a minute away?”
6) “And throughout it all, too many in our national media … their corporate owners … and their stockholders … act as silent enablers, if not complicit co-conspirators.”
7) “Then there’s the blood-soaked slasher films like ‘American Psycho’ and ‘Natural Born Killers’ that are aired like propaganda loops on Splatterdays and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life.”
8) “In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes — every minute of every day of every month of every year.”
9) “Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?”
10) “ Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?”
- The 10 Craziest Quotes From The NRA Press Conference (thinkprogress.org)
- The NRA’s Police State (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
- Journalists really hate the NRA (tomfaranda.typepad.com)
- Video: Gun control advocate and NRA member speaks out on defiant NRA (cbsnews.com)
- NRA Blames Hollywood, Violent Video Games & Ent. Industry For Newton Massacre (allhiphop.com)
It’s almost like I can see the future! Recently, I predicted that the right would be outraged, OUTRAGED, by the botched attack on the DC headquarters of the anti-gay hate group, The Family Research Council, by what is presumably a liberal. I also said that, magically, this one incident would overshadow the decades long pattern of right-wing violence.
Here’s Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation and hate/fear-monger in charge to prove me right,
Yesterday was a day we in the conservative movement will need to remember for a very long time. It represents something we had better learn about and learn to deal with quickly.
What is it?
It was the shooting at the Family Research Council in DC.
It was left on right violence.
It is soon to be the new norm.
BE AFRAID! THE LIBERALS ARE COMING! Judson blathers on for a bit and finally gets to the part where conservatives are the true victims and liberals are out of control monsters:
Conservatives have been the victims of left-wing violence. In 2009, Kenneth Gladney was beaten by leftist thugs in a St. Louis Tea Party event. More recently we have seen violence committed by the Occupy mobs.
Ah. Kenneth Gladney? THIS Kenneth Gladney? I wonder if Judson thinks a man getting into a scuffle with two other men is the same as a liberal woman being thrown to the ground and stomped on by Rand Paul supporters? Probably not. She had it coming, after all. Just a heads up, the Gladney case ended in an acquittal for the “union thugs” while the manly stomper of women plead out for probation and paying for his victim’s medical bills. Also, notice that Judson can’t be bothered to say what KIND of violence has occurred at the Occupy protests? Probably because it’s hard to spin smashed windows and graffiti into a credible attack on conservatives.
Judson wraps it up with a textbook case of projection in which he transfers the sins of the right to the “radical left”:
Left wing media outlets and radical far left groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center are creating the hysteria that is the catalyst for violence. The blood is on their hands. (be afraid - FLS)
I wish I could say the shooting at the FRC yesterday was an isolated incident. It is not. It is an example of growing violence against conservatives in this nation. (be afraid – FLS)
Fortunately yesterday, no one died. Unfortunately, I fear it is only a matter of time before that happens. (be afraid – FLS)
The left is getting more desperate. They are seeing their power fade and the left must have power. They know they will lose the Senate and the White House in the election this fall and they are becoming more and more desperate. (Be. Afraid. – FLS)
For conservatives, the message is simple. We must be on our guard. (BE. AFRAID. – FLS)
These are dangerous times for conservatives. Before this is all over, I fear there will not only be more violence against conservatives, I fear conservatives will be killed by some of these deranged far left wing activists. (BE AFRAID! – FLS)
In most cases, I like to be right in my predictions. In this one case, I pray I am very wrong. (OH MY GOD ARE YOU TERRIFIED YET?! – FLS)
The message here is clear: “Go out and get more guns to protect yourself and if you happen to blow away a few liberals, they probably had it coming.” This is precisely the kind of “hysteria” the left DOESN’T create but the right specializes in. Oh? he didn’t mention guns so I’m exaggerating? What, pray tell, does the right festishize for self-defense? Guns, pepper spray, tasers or martial arts? That’s right, guns. Let’s move on.
Conservatives love the idea that they are under siege and Republicans love the idea of their base being terrified of their neighbors. It makes them easier to control. It’s nice to see Judson running plays right out of the GOP handbook: “How To Keep’em Dumb & Scared – Your Guide To Winning Elections.” He’s definitely earned his Koch money this week.
- Conservatives: Family Research Council attack is evidence of ‘war on religion’ (wtvr.com)
- Twitter Vengeance For Conservatives (thedailybeast.com)
- Family Research Council Shooting Unlikely to Spark New Media “Civility” Debate (redalertpolitics.com)
- Will the Left Pause After DC Shooting? (commentarymagazine.com)
- Is the Coverage of the Family Research Council Shooting Biased? (usnews.com)
- Thoughts on the Family Research Council Shooting (powerlineblog.com)
As usual, the Mario Piperni website never fails its readers…
What happened? I leave for a couple of days and come back to find that all hell has broken loose. My favorite website, the Daily
Mauler Caller had this headline to greet me:
Congratulations, Americans: The government owns your bodies
Wow. Being forced to give up ownership of one’s body to a tyrannical government is serious stuff. Hoping to find better news at my second favorite website, I moved on to World
Nut Net Daily. Not good. Right below this headline,
Muslim mob stones Christians – in U.S.!
I was shocked and dismayed to find this headline:
Ruling awakens ‘revolutionary fervor’
Nut Net Daily is a serious source for honest and balanced news, so when they talk of “revolutionary fervor’, watch out. Any website that gives Chuck Norris and Jerome Corsi space to blog their demented trash, err, enlightened views, knows what they’re talking about. Yes, sir, a revolution is on the way.
Twitter didn’t make me feel any better.
The end of America. Scary. And to let you know how serious he is, Shapiro states that he’s not exaggerating. Very cool of him.
Sigh. Checked in with my favorite right-wing talk radio guy, Limbaugh. I was hoping he could put a positive spin on it all. Nope.
Obamacare is nothing more than the largest tax increase in the history of the world…as of today, the American government can and will seize your private property if you don’t purchase and/or sell what’s been ordered. It’s really breathtaking, what happened today. And it is breathtaking to watch ignoramuses who don’t really understand what happened celebrate it. We have been betrayed and deceived by Congress. We have been betrayed and deceived by the Supreme Court.
There you go. Right-wing response to the Supreme Court ruling in a nutshell: betrayal, revolution and the end of America.
Poor babies. Well at least some of the brighter wingnuts now know what they’re going to do.
And they call them idiots. I wonder why that would be?
My, my, they’ve really gone off the deep end. Here’s a comment from a Washington Times piece about Republican governors planning on ignoring the Supreme Court ruling on the ACA. The comment is typical of the madness that has overtaken the right beyond what we’ve witnessed over the last 4 years.
All three Branches of the Federal government are now operating outside their Constitutionally enumerated powers. Therefor, by the Founding Fathers own concerns, the Federal government is null-and-void. The individual States are now in charge of our government.
Each State should enact Marshal law, withholding all Federal withholding taxes from transfer to Washington!
Marshall law…now there’s a wonderful ideal. These sad fools really don’t know any better. They’re spouting the same crap they hear on Fox and other conservative media. In my more compassionate moments, I almost feel sorry for them.
I’m no longer shocked or dismayed from what the cretins on the far right have said in recent weeks. I simply remind myself that they’re playing to their extreme right-wing base and both the base and the far right politicians are just way out there when it comes to their rhetoric and intent.
Speaking in Le Mars, Iowa on Monday, Rick Santorum promised to significantly reduce federal funding for food stamps, arguing that the nation’s increasing obesity rates render the program unnecessary:
Santorum told the group he would cut the food stamp program, describing it as one of the fastest growing programs in Washington, D.C.
Forty-eight million people are on food stamps in a country with 300-million people, said Santorum.
“If hunger is a problem in America, then why do we have an obesity problem among the people who we say have a hunger program?” Santorum asked.
The cost of the food stamp program — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — has jumped because more Americans are out of work and wages are down, not because of obesity rates. Recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly “70 percent households that relied on food stamps last year had no earned income,” although many households did benefit from Social Security benefits and other government programs. But a whopping 20 percent of households had no cash income at all last year.
Food prices have also gone up, adding additional costs. In fact, the food stamp program has been critical for reducing poverty and pumping money into local economies during the down economy, so cutting it now would not only take food out of peoples’ mouths (regardless of whether they are obese or not) and could slow down the recovery.
- Criticizing ‘Extreme Right Wing,’ GOP Rep. Mulvaney Says It’s Politically Impossible To Balance Budget Without Raising Taxes (thinkprogress.org)
- The Fathead of the Land (tbogg.firedoglake.com)
- Gingrich Makes Eyebrow-Raising Claim (huffingtonpost.com)
- Food Stamps: Democrats In Congress Attempt To Eat On $4.50 A Day To Protest Potential Budget Cuts (huffingtonpost.com)
- Suicidal Mom Shoots Kids As She’s Denied Food Stamps (newser.com)
- Texas food stamp tragedy: Awful in more ways than one (shortformblog.tumblr.com)
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – Seismologists said today that a 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia did less damage to Washington, D.C. than House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, also centered in Virginia.
“The earthquake and Eric Cantor originate from almost the identical point,” said Dr. Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota’s Seismology Institute. “But while the earthquake caused some minor shaking, there’s only one word for Eric Cantor’s impact: devastation.”
As residents of Washington picked through the rubble left behind by Rep. Cantor, some questioned whether it made sense to rebuild.
“What’s the point? Congress will be back from recess in a few days and then he’ll just knock everything down again,” one resident said.
While rumbling from the quake extended to states as far-flung as New York and Ohio, Rep. Cantor’s path of destruction has wreaked damage on almost every state in the country, Dr. Logsdon said.
“The only state he hasn’t destroyed is Wisconsin,” he said. “That’s because there was nothing left of it after it was hit by Scott Walker.”
- Today’s East Coast quake occurred in Eric Cantor’s district, near the Anna 1 & 2 nuclear facilities (americablog.com)
- Remember when Eric Cantor wanted to cut disaster funding? (dailykos.com)
- Eric Cantor hits EPA for anti-growth regulations (junkscience.com)
- GOP, Tea Party Decry ‘Obama’ Earthquake (isoutrage.wordpress.com)
- Eric Cantor: The Grinch Who Stole Americans’ Unemployment Insurance (crooksandliars.com)
Welcome to another “opposite day” in Washington D.C. brought to you by the irascible GOP…
Today, Speaker John Boehner told the House GOP caucus that he is preparing a short-term bill that would raise the debt ceiling for about six months, despite Obama’s pledge to veto such a measure. On the call, Majority Leader Eric Cantor blasted Obama for opposing it. The Wall Street Journal reports:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor indicated in his remarks during the conference call that Republicans don’t want to give President Barack Obama a debt-ceiling deal that lasts past the 2012 elections. Mr. Cantor called the president’s insistence on a deal that carries through the election purely political and indefensible.
But late last month, Cantor himself vehimently opposed a short term deal:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor pushed back hard Tuesday against Senate Republican suggestions of a scaled-back, short-term debt deal, saying it’s “crunch time” in White House budget talks and “if we can’t make the tough decisions now, why … would [we] be making those tough decisions later.”
“I don’t see how multiple votes on a debt ceiling increase can help get us to where we want to go,” the Virginia Republican told reporters. “It is my preference that we do this thing one time. … Putting off tough decisions is not what people want in this town.”
Standard and Poors, a credit rating agency, agrees that a short term deal would be bad for the nation’s credit. In a July 14 release S&P wrote “We may also lower the long-term rating and affirm the short-term rating if we conclude that future adjustments to the debt ceiling are likely to be the subject of political maneuvering.”
- Borowitz Report (mbcalyn.wordpress.com)
- LIVE COVERAGE: Reid To Offer New Debt Ceiling Plan, Boehner Admits “Cut, Cap, And Balance” Is Dead (businessinsider.com)
- Boehner avoids conflict with GOP conservatives – Columbus Dispatch (news.google.com)
- Boehner Schemes to Force a Short-Term Debt Limit Increase (news.firedoglake.com)
House Republicans were cautioned Thursday in a closed door meeting with credit rating agency officials that a “death spiral” in the bond market was one of the possible outcomes in the event of default.
One official warned of a worst-case scenario in which a default on the nation’s credit could result in a rapid drop in bond values, sparking chaos in the markets — a dramatic warning asWashington worked on a possible deal on deficit reduction and an increase in the debt limit.
Members who attended the meeting later countered that the tone of the discussion was not nearly as apocalyptic as the phrase initially made it sound. According to sources inside the room, the “death spiral” term was also used in reference to the collapse of Lehmann Brothers in September 2008 as a historical example.
Rep. Nan Hayworth, a freshman Republican from New York, hosted this off-the-record meeting with GOP House lawmakers Thursday afternoon. Hayworth called the meeting a “dispassionate and objective” discussion about the potentially disastrous consequences of not raising the debt ceiling by the August deadline. But Republicans said they were also told that unless the government undertook a serious deficit reduction program, the credit ratings could still assign a negative outlook to the nation’s debt anyway.
“If we do nothing, if we simply raise the debt ceiling, without a change in America’s spending trajectory then the markets will react negatively as well. That’s certainly the message I took away,” said Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.).
- S&P Officials To Brief House GOP Freshmen On Consequences Of Default (businessinsider.com)
- Boehner Warns GOP May Lose Leverage (politicalwire.com)
- Another Ratings Agency Warns Lawmakers (politicalwire.com)
- Poll: 71% shun GOP handling of debt crisis (cbsnews.com)
- Our Last Chance At A Solution? (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
- Ratings agencies running the show in Ireland and Europe (guardian.co.uk)
- Rating agencies are ready to reconsider U.S. credit rating (marketforexvyatski.wordpress.com)
- Credit rating agencies braced for US downgrade amid political stalemate (guardian.co.uk)