Archive for July, 2014

Finally

Posted: July 12, 2014 by mitchethekid in Current Events

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/sarah-palin-big-flame-out

Weekly B4V Sucks Thread

Posted: July 11, 2014 by Marner in Open Thread
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You guys pretty much wore the last one out, so here’s a fresh one for you.

Regardless of what the Teahadists say, the ACA is working and people are satisfied with what they’re getting; even Republicans:

Overall, 73 percent of people who bought health plans and 87 percent of those who signed up for Medicaid said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their new health insurance. Seventy-four percent of newly insured Republicans liked their plans. Even 77 percent of people who had insurance before — including members of the much-publicized group whose plans got canceled last year — were happy with their new coverage.

This is typical of the extremist Republicans. They will wail about how something is the end of the world as we know it, but when people start to actually feel the effects those people realize it’s not so bad. In most cases, it turns out pretty good. The good news for us is that there will be some of those Republicans who will wake up and realize they were being lied to by their Party leaders and reconsider if they really want to support those kinds of people in upcoming elections.

Joni Ernst won the Iowa Republican Senate nomination by appealing to the Teabaggers, but I guess she doesn’t have the courage of her convictions. She is obviously lying here, but was it in January when she was trying to win Republican-only votes, or is it now when she has to get votes from outside the rabid rightwing bubble?

January 2014: I do think that yes, he should face those repercussions, and whether that’s removal from office, whether that’s impeachment.

July 2014: To be clear, I have not seen any evidence that the president should be impeached.

 

January: He has become a dictator. He is running amok. He is not following our Constitution.

July: I obviously do not believe the president is a dictator, but his repeated use of unilateral action sure makes him look like one.

 

Iowa voters should be aware that if they vote for Ernst, they are getting someone who will tell one group one thing, then turn around and lie in their face when she gets caught.

Beyond words. Beyond a thousand words.

More evidence of the failure of trickle down economics, this time perpetrated by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who took only two years to bankrupt the State of Kansas.

From the Vox article:

The governor proposed to cut income taxes on the state’s highest earners from 6.45 percent to 4.9 percent, to simplify tax brackets, and to eliminate state income taxes on most small business income entirely. In a nod to fiscal responsibility, though, he proposed to end several tax deductions and exemptions, including the well-liked home mortgage interest deduction. This would help pay for the cuts.

Yet as the bill went through the state Senate, these deductions proved too popular, and legislators voted to keep them all. The bill’s estimated price tag rose from about $105 million to $800 million, but Brownback kept supporting it anyway. “I’m gonna sign this bill, I’m excited about the prospects for it, and I’m very thankful for how God has blessed our state,” he said.

After the cuts became law, it was undisputed that Kansas’s revenue collections would fall. But some supply-side analysts, like economist Arthur Laffer, argued that increased economic growth would deliver more revenue that would help cushion this impact.

Yet it’s now clear that the revenue shortfalls are much worse than expected. “State general fund revenue is down over $700 million from last year,” Duane Goossen, a former state budget director, told me. “That’s a bigger drop than the state had in the whole three years of the recession,” he said — and it’s a huge chunk of the state’s $6 billion budget. Goossen added that the Kansas’s surplus, which had been replenished since the recession, “is now being spent at an alarming, amazing rate.”

Of course, it’s all President Obama’s fault. “This is an undeniable result of President Obama’s failed economic policies of increasing taxes and overregulation,” Brownback’s revenue secretary Nick Jordan said.

These people are seriously deluded. And dishonest, too. Evidently, Brownback is in a tight re-election race in a deep red state. If he loses, of course that will be President Obama’s fault, too. I can hardly wait to hear his excuses.

Not only that, “teen abortion rate dropped 35 percent from 2009 to 2012 in those counties served by the initiative.”

From the State Of Colorado:

DENVERThursday, July 3, 2014 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today the teen birth rate in Colorado dropped 40 percent from 2009 through 2013, driven by a Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment initiative that helps low-income women get long-acting reversible contraceptives.

“Unintended pregnancies, especially among teenagers, carry health risks for mother and baby,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, department executive director and chief medical officer. “Our Colorado Family Planning Initiative has helped thousands of young women who weren’t ready to have children avoid pregnancy with affordable, safe and effective contraceptives.”

The Colorado Family Planning Initiative has provided more than 30,000 intrauterine devices (IUDs) or implants at low or no cost to low-income women at 68 family planning clinics across Colorado since 2009. The decline in births among young women served by these agencies accounted for three-quarters of the overall decline in the Colorado teen birth rate.

While the family planning initiative has helped thousands of young women avoid unintended pregnancy, it also has helped reduce social and economic costs to Colorado. The teen abortion rate dropped 35 percent from 2009 to 2012 in those counties served by the initiative. The infant caseload for Colorado WIC, a program that provides nutrition education and support to low-income women and their babies, fell 23 percent from 2008 to 2013. And Colorado saved millions in health care expenditures associated with teen births, $42.5 million in public funds in 2010 alone based on the latest available data.

“This initiative has saved Colorado millions of dollars,” said Gov. Hickenlooper. “But more importantly, it has helped thousands of young Colorado women continue their education, pursue their professional goals and postpone pregnancy until they are ready to start a family.”

Since November 4, 2008, the Republican party and the conservative movement have been dominated by exactly one thought: Opposition to anything President Obama proposes or does. But Jonathan Chait writes at the New Yorker about the glimmers of hope that conservatives are finally shedding their apocalyptic stance that America is being destroyed by President Obama, and instead have begun thinking about actually governing again. He describes the apocalyptic view that has dominated conservative politics thusly:

Glenn Beck’s moment of maximum influence already passed several years ago. But Beck was merely the most comic incarnation of a pervasive Republican alarm. The unhinged versions of this sensibility held that Obama had launched a sinister ideological assault on the Constitution and American freedom, perhaps in the name of Islamism, or socialism, or, somehow, both. The hinged version tended to fasten onto touchstones like Greece, hyperinflation, and looming fiscal catastrophe. The whole Republican worldview has been a series of furious scrawlings on mental chalkboards.

Chait writes hopefully about a recent speech by Marco Rubio, and cites a lengthy article in the New York Times Magazine by Sam Tanenhaus, entitled “Can the G.O.P. Be a Party of Ideas?” The article, which is worth a read, describes the efforts of Yuval Levin and others–dubbed reformicons–“who believe the health of the G.O.P. hinges on jettisoning its age-old doctrine — orgiastic tax-cutting, the slashing of government programs, the championing of Wall Street — and using an altogether different vocabulary, backed by specific proposals, that will reconnect the party to middle-class and low-income voters.”

Reconnect the Republican party with middle-class and low-income voters? Imagine that. That’s been heretical thinking among the right for quite a while now, if for no other reason than President Obama is seen as a supporter of such voters.

Tanenhaus describes two others in the reformicon movement, the married couple Ramish and April Ponnuru. Regarding April, Tanenhaus writes:

She, too, talked at length about how the party was out of touch. “The biggest problem is that the politicians don’t represent the people. We’re identified with the rich and big business,” she said, ticking off a list of constituencies that Republicans have alienated: “Single women, Hispanics, young people.” Also as a wife and mother, she had serious doubts about any movement “that can offer nothing to a married woman with three children at the bottom half” of the economic heap.

Wow. Offering something to Hispanics, young people, and–lowest of the low from the way most conservatives talk–women in the bottom half of the economic heap? That’s some radical thinking there. After all, most loud mouth conservatives consider women with three children nothing more than sluts.

To be sure, these guys are conservatives. And it’s hard for me to view Rubio is anything more than an opportunistic politician who will grasp at anything he thinks might help him politically. But it’s freaking about time that conservatives got off their asses and became serious about governance. Let’s hope that something spurs them away from the dogma of unyielding opposition of President Obama and toward actual, honest to God ideas. Please. What a breath of fresh air it would be. We don’t even have to agree with the ideas. Just put some effort into it and show us you’re serious about governing.

It’s about time.

Weekly B4V Sucks Thread

Posted: July 5, 2014 by Marner in Open Thread
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Sorry I was late with this. I’ve been working on a lawnmower.

So as public service to one and all, including our conservative followers (and you know who you are), I hereby present a few items that caught my attention this week.

First up, Zach Baron writes at GQ about his days hanging out at the Bundy Ranch when the second revolutionary war was fought against the dirty federal agents. My favorite part of the article:

“I will warn you,” Cooper says, when I ask where exactly I might find those latrines, “they’re kind of full.”

I wander out to them. The latrines are indeed kind of full. My eyes water with the smell of freedom.

Yes, the Bundy Ranch was full of shit. A good read, nevertheless.

Second, Hendrik Hertzberg of the New Yorker takes a look at the recently unveiled platform of the Republican Party of Texas. “[M]ost everything Texan tends to be exaggerated,” writes Hertzberg, “But if you want a glimpse of what a nontrivial and apparently growing segment of one of America’s two great political parties believes in its heart of hearts, and what it says when it is essentially talking to itself—well, you’ve just been given one.”

We learn that the Texas Legislature should nullify—indeed, “ignore, oppose, refuse, and nullify”—any old federal laws it doesn’t like. Unelected federal bureaucrats should all be eliminated because, you know, we don’t actually need to run the government. And of course, the favorite of outraged conservatives everywhere: All federal “enforcement activities” within the borders of Texas “must be conducted under the auspices of the county sheriff with jurisdiction in that county.” Because, as we all know, the county sheriff is the highest authority in the land.

We also learn that Republicans are deep, philosophical sorts. The platform includes this gem that will have you pondering the role of government in our lives for days:

Socialism breeds mediocrity. America is exceptional. Therefore, the Republican Party of Texas opposes socialism in all of its forms.

There’s much more where that came from. This isn’t the work of a couple of crackpots in the deepest, darkest part of Texas: This is the official platform of the Republican Party of Texas. Apparently, this nontrivial and growing segment of America is batshit crazy, and felt the need to put it in writing.

And finally, thirty-nine years ago this weekend the movie Jaws became a summer blockbuster. In honor of that, Mother Jones has a chat between Emily Dreyfuss and Ben Dreyfuss, the children of actor Richard Dreyfuss, who portrayed Hooper (or is it Hopper? Even his children get confused.) A fun read leading into a holiday weekend.

Happy Fourth everyone!