Jan 132014
 

I’m writing very early for tomorrow to sleep all I can before my Broncos’ worship in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb with the evil Chargers.  I’m still feeling horrid.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:34 (average 4:16).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

0112-Broncos24-Chargers17

Wooo Hooo!! :-)

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: At a hastily called press conference today, Chris Christie revealed that he only became aware that he was the governor of New Jersey in the past seventy-two hours.

“Unbeknownst to me, some people I thought I could trust were secretly working to elect me governor of this state,” a visibly stunned Christie told reporters. “I have acted swiftly and fired them all.”

While asserting that he had terminated all of the people who were involved in the scheme to elect him, he said that, if he finds additional conspirators, “I will deal with them accordingly.”

Christie struggled to explain how he remained in the dark about being governor, a position he has held since 2010: “I guess I’m just not much of a detail person. People think I’m a micromanager. I’m not. If a bunch of people are going behind my back and plotting to make me the governor, that’s not the kind of thing I pick up on.”

That’s only slightly less absurd than his real BS.

From Raw Story: The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Friday that it is preparing to hear a challenge to an Ohio law prohibiting candidates and political groups from making false statements in campaign advertising. According to Huffington Post, anti-choice group the Susan B. Anthony List maintains that Ohio’s False Statement Law stifles their right to free speech.

In short, the question before the Court is whether Republicans have the Constitutional right to lie in their campaign ads. This case could prove most interesting.

From Robert Reich: The U.S. economy created a measly 74,000 new jobs in December, and a smaller percentage of working-age Americans is now employed than at any time in the last three decades (before women surged into the workforce).

What does this have to do with the fact that median household incomes continue to drop (adjusted for inflation) and that 95 percent of all the economic gains since the recovery started have gone to the top 1 percent?

Plenty. Businesses won’t create new jobs without enough customers. But most Americans no longer have enough purchasing power to fuel that job growth.

That’s why it’s so important to (1) raise the minimum wage at least to its inflation-adjusted value 40 years ago — which would be well over $10 an hour, (2) extend unemployment benefits to the jobless, (3) launch a major jobs program to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, (4) expand Medicaid to the near-poor, (5) enable low-wage workers to unionize, (6) rehire all the teachers, social workers, police, and other public service employees who were laid off in the recession, (7) exempt the first $20,000 of income from Social Security payroll taxes and make up the difference by removing the cap on income subject to the tax.

I fully support all seven of Reich’s proposals.

Cartoon:

0113Cartoon

Share
Oct 172013
 

Lets talk about economics.  I can almost hear the rumble of eyeballs rolling back in dozens of heads as folks prepare to tune this out.  I know.  Talking about vile acts of TEAbuggery is much more interesting, but this is too important not to know and understand.  Day after day we hear Republicans and the media droning on and on  about how government is burying America in a mass of debt that will soon crust the economy.  Everyone knows that, right?  In fact, that isn’t true at all.

17debt_chart_presidents

…There are two national deficits, and both are in good if not excellent condition. Every day that the House has debated the public debt limit, President Barack Obama has cited this fact. No opponent pays any attention.

The first of the two deficits owed by the U.S. is the cumulative debt racked up over many years, the public debt. Today this structural debt has ballooned to $18.7 trillion as of September 30, 2013—but its percentage of what the country actually earns remains essentially the same. The figures have “ballooned,” but the percentages are unchanged. Thus the debt is currently 77 percent of Gross Domestic Product (the aggregate worth of what the nation produces each year), and that percentage is presently stable. With tax revenues increasing by 15 percent in 2013, bringing more money into the Treasury, the structural deficit is projected actually to drop this year to $16 trillion by the end of 2013, according to Bloomberg.

For comparison, in Japan the public debt to GDP ratio is one of the highest in the world, at 214.3 percent. The key European countries are much lower—the U.K. stands at 88.7 percent, France at 89.9 percent, Germany 81.7 percent. All are higher than the U.S. and rising. Italy is the laggard at 126.1. These figures are from the CIA World Factbook 2012.

Our second national deficit is the current budget deficit, the one most of the political arguments are about. This is the annual increase or decrease in revenues over spending. These deficits are dropping significantly in Western Europe, thanks to current austerity programs.

But the most important decrease is being registered in the United States! This is thanks to increased revenues and enforced spending cuts such as the sequester. The U.S. budget deficit has literally halved in the last two years. Today it stands at 4 percent of GDP. The figure is projected to shrink to 3.4 percent next year. This is close to the 3.3 percent average maintained over the past 30 years.

In Europe, a 3 percent deficit is held as the optimum budget target for all members of the European Union. Only Germany has now managed to come in under that figure. The U.K. and France are struggling to come under 5 percent. Many European countries’ deficits are around 8 percent, and their governments envy the U.S… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Truthdig>

I took a chunk from the middle of an excellent article.  Click through for the rest.

America does have a spending problem, but the problem is how we spend, not how much.

Welfare for billionaires and corporate criminals is hot helping our economy at all.  Instead of using it to create jobs, these people using the money to move American jobs to third world economies to increase their own profit.  They are using it to speculate in markets making the goods we consume more costly.  They are stashing it in offshore tax havens to evade paying their fair share of taxes on their profits.  The people, who Republicans call job creators are not creating jobs.  They are creating only more wealth for themselves.

Instead, we need to support programs that create jobs.  Investing in infrastructure puts Americans to work and provides the physical environment business needs to excel.  Investing in education puts Americans to work by giving them job skills and provides business the skilled workers that business needs to excel.  Investing in research puts Americans to work by providing business opportunities to create the jobs of the future here.  Otherwise some other nation will get those jobs.  And as we put more Americans to work, they will spend on goods and services, creating jobs for even more Americans and success for even more businesses.  This will further reduce the deficit by lowering the need for the safety-net and increasing tax revenue from additional workers.

This is what Republicans are lying about and most media isn’t telling you.

Share
Sep 202013
 

Since he knows it will effect his party negatively, I had hoped the Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), aka “Agent Orange” and “Two Inch” Boehner, would step back from the InsaniTEA on ObamaCare and allow the few relatively sane Republicans left to vote with Democrats in an unencumbered Continuing Resolution (CR) and a clean Debt limit increase.  That’s not only what’s best for America, but also, what’s best for the Republican Party.  Well, Agent Orange must fear being TEAbuggered, because he screwed the pooch.  Moreover, it’s most ironic that the whole Defund Obamacare meme is nothing but a Republican scam.

BonerOrangeAfter three years of cajoling, finessing and occasionally strong-arming his fitful conservative majority, Speaker John A. Boehner waved the white flag on Wednesday, surrendering to demands from his right flank that he tie money to keep the government open after Sept. 30 to stripping President Obama’s health care law of any financing.

Mr. Boehner knows that the plan he unveiled cannot pass the Senate, and that it may prove unwise politically and economically. His leadership team pressed just last week for an alternative. But with conservative forces uniting against him, he ultimately saw no alternative but to capitulate — and few good options to stop a government shutdown in two weeks.

“Today was a step forward, and a win for the American people,” said Representative Tom Graves, the Georgia Republican whose “defund Obamacare” push had amassed 80 House supporters, a bloc large enough to dictate the outcome.

With much of the government set to run out of money at the end of the month — and run out of borrowing authority by mid-October — Mr. Boehner faced a choice: he could steer a middle ground and find a way out of his fiscal dead end with Republican and Democratic votes, or he could yield to a conservative movement to strip the Affordable Care Act of financing, unite his Republican majority around that war cry, and hope for the best… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Rachel Maddow covered how this has grown from one of many Republican scams.

 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I bet that when Bubba Bagger calls Upchuck Huck to repeal Obamacare and gets Richard Simmons instead, he’s just overjoyed with gaiety! Sheeple-fleecing is clearly Republican’s favorite sport, something they learned well from the Theocon wing of the party.

What will happen is that The Senate will strip the defund ObamaCare language from the CR and send it back. What will Agent Orange do then?  It would insane not to tale the sensible path, so I think that at the eleventh how he will on the CR, but I won’t bet money on it.  The debt limit ceiling is anybody’s guess at this point.

Share
Sep 182013
 

Writing for tomorrow, day 96, I’m still pretty pooped, but hope to get some rest today.

Poll Note:

I realized I made a major wording error on out poll.  To fix it, I had to restart the poll, so if you already voted, please vote again.

Update:

For the first time, Critter sends greetings to Critter from the outside.  He’s a bit overwhelmed, of course, but doing great.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:23 (average 5:06).  To do it, click here!  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest in our fantasy football league, after an exciting, but frustrating week.  Damn Seachickens!!

Scores:

2Scores

I bet Patty is Monster Mash twerking right now!! ;-)

Standings:

2Standings

Oh how the mighty have fallen!

Short Takes:

From Robert Reich: One of the most deceptive ideas continuously sounded by the Right (and its fathomless think tanks and media outlets) is that the “free market” is natural and inevitable, existing outside and beyond government. So whatever inequality or insecurity it generates is beyond our control. And whatever ways we might seek to reduce inequality or insecurity — to make the economy work for us — are unwarranted constraints on the market’s freedom, and will inevitably go wrong.

By this view, if some people aren’t paid enough to live on, the market has determined they aren’t worth enough. If others rake in billions, they must be worth it. If millions of Americans remain unemployed or their paychecks are shrinking or they work two or three part-time jobs with no idea what they’ll earn next month or next week, that’s too bad; it’s just the outcome of the market.

According to this logic, government shouldn’t intrude through minimum wages, high taxes on top earners, public spending to get people back to work, regulations on business, or anything else, because the “free market” knows best.

In reality, the “free market” is a bunch of rules about (1) what can be owned and traded (the genome? slaves? nuclear materials? babies? votes?); (2) on what terms (equal access to the internet? the right to organize unions? corporate monopolies? the length of patent protections? ); (3) under what conditions (poisonous drugs? unsafe foods? deceptive Ponzi schemes? uninsured derivatives? dangerous workplaces?) (4) what’s private and what’s public (police? roads? clean air and clean water? healthcare? good schools? parks and playgrounds?); (5) how to pay for what (taxes, user fees, individual pricing?). And so on.

These rules don’t exist in nature; they are human creations. Governments don’t “intrude” on free markets; governments organize and maintain them. Markets aren’t “free” of rules; the rules define them.

Republican rules cause the 1% to get the benefits, and the 99% to pay the costs.

From Blue Oregon: Straight Talk: Oregon republican party chairman Art Robinson

Art Robinson was on KGW’s Straight Talk over the weekend, and I think Laurel Porter is probably still recovering from the post-interview laughing fit she had when it was over because…wow.\\

 

BARF BAG ALERT!: 24 minutes (or less) of this insane Teabagger is guaranteed to stimulate a projectile visceral response.

From McClatchy DC: Friends say Aaron Alexis [the Navy Yard Shooter] regularly meditated at a local Buddhist temple, was unfailingly courteous and never showed signs of the violence that is now his legacy.

But police reports paint a darker picture of the Fort Worth man, including an anger-fueled "blackout" and shooting in Seattle in 2004 and, more recently, a firearms incident at a Fort Worth apartment, after which a neighbor told police that she was "terrified" of him.

If this guy were white, he’d have been exactly the sort that the Republican Party wants to be able to buy guns without a background check.

Cartoon:

18Cartoon

Share
Aug 152013
 

Writing for tomorrow, day 62, it’s still cool, early in the day.  Yesterday’s meeting with my guys in prison went great.  In our CoDA group, we discussed boundaries, and the guys inspired me with the depth of their understanding of where they need to improve and with their progress in doing so.  Critter sends greetings to Critter and promises to excel, lest he be buried in Critter Crap.  The down side is that I’m beat, after missing sleep, pushing my endurance limits, and returning to a super-heated, closed-up apartment, so this is tomorrow’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:35 (average 5:26).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MSNBC: FDR’s evolution of thinking on Keynesian economics,

 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Keynesian economics is so outdated, that it has only one thing going for it. It works! That’s why today’s Republicans hate it so.

From Raw Story: Fox News host Mike Huckabee and Ted Nugent on Tuesday hatched a plan to take the conservative rocker’s “world’s greatest hunting dog” and “him loose on some Democrats” so they could get the “varmints” out of office.

Huckabee began his Tuesday interview with Nugent by asking about “Gonzo, the wonder Labrador Retriever.”

“Nobody hunts more than the Nugent family,” Nugent explained. “We literally hunt anywhere between 250 and 300 days a year. And you think Gonzo is good on ducks, you should see him on squirrels and doves and rabbits and woodcock and grouse. He really is a mystical, wonderful hunting dog.”

“Well, maybe we ought to turn him loose on some Democrats and see if he can hunt them too,” Huckabee suggested.

Now, where did Rev. Mike Huckabee, aka Upchuck Huck or Upchuckabee, get such a loving idea? From Republican Supply-side Jesus (the one they invented, not the real Jesus), of course.

From Robert Reich: 7 Lies

 

I think I’ve posted this before, but it Robert Reich didn’t think we need to be reminded how to debunk these Republican lies, he would not have reposted it on his site today. I agree.

Cartoon:

15Cartoon

The commerce clause sure exists when they want to use it!

Share
Aug 022013
 

I keep hearing people express worry that Obama is going to cut a dysfunctional deal with Republicans, and blaming him for things over which he had no control, because he has to follow the law.  I could just ignore the law, like Bush did, but that’s the Republican way, not the American way.  Based on his meetings yesterday with the House and Senate, he appears to be on target with respect to his economic plans.

2ObamaPresident Obama put Republicans on notice Wednesday that he will reject any fiscal deal that only spares the Pentagon from budget cuts.

Seeking party unity, Obama met with congressional Democrats in both chambers to prepare them for the budget battle that will greet them in the fall.

His message was unequivocal: no negotiating with Republicans on a debt-ceiling increase and no reductions in the sequester cuts to defense unless domestic programs are spared as well.

“He’s not going to accept sequestration restoration for the military any greater than in domestic. He’s not going to negotiate on the debt ceiling,” Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking member of the Democratic leadership, told reporters after Senate Democrats met with Obama in a room off the Senate floor… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <The Hill>

Photo credit: The News Journal

No arguments here.  Now, I can’t pretend to say that I actually know what he’s going to do, but I’ve called it right more often than wing-nuts, who claim that they do.

Share
Jul 282013
 

In my opinion, Obama’s worst appointees of his Presidency have been the Three Blind Mice: Ben “Bankster Boy” Bernanke, Larry “So Wrong” Summers, and “Timmy the Tool” Geithner.  He should have kept his economic team for campaign 2000, instead of adopting Hillary’s.  He could not make a bigger mistake than to pick either of the other two to replace Bankster Boy at the Fed.  Especially when he has an excellent alternative in Janet Yellen.

28Fedchair

Whoever said "What you don’t know can’t hurt you" doesn’t know much about economics.  That goes double for the nomination of Lawrence Summers to head the Federal Reserve. For all the ink that’s been spilled on the topic, there’s at least one surprise ending people don’t seem to be considering.

Remember the last time Summers was strapped to a trial balloon and exposed to this kind of a public dart-throwing contest? It was back when Obama was searching for his first Treasury Secretary. There was a public outcry against Summers then, too, and guess what happened:

We got Tim Geithner instead.

I’m against the Summers nomination too, but as they say: Be careful what you wish for…

Inserted from <Alternet>

Chris Hayes compared Summers and Yellen, but he missed the possibility of Geithner.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

You’ve already learned my opinion of hiring Summers: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Let me add my opinion of hiring Geithner: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! We already have one of the three blind mice at the Fed now. The last thing we need is either of the other two.

Yellen works for me, but if not her, here is how Obama should make that choice. He should say, "Lizzie, whom should I hire?" Then he should pick whomever Elizabeth Warren tells him to hire.

Share