And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.
"I was disappointed when Speaker Gingrich ultimately decided against [forming a Santorum/Gingrich Unity ticket in the GOP primary], because it could have changed the outcome of the primary, and more importantly, it could have changed the outcome of the general election."
— Rick Santorumwistfully recalls what might have been. He’s right, though, a Gingrich/Santorum ticket would have changed the general election outcome into much more of a 50-state stomping than the merely-wide-margin Obama win that we got. Something for Turtledove to look into, to be sure.
Bloomberg is reporting that Obama is the first President since Ike to win two elections by a 51%+ popular vote margin. Yes, not even Saint Reagan, he of stayin’ up late and workin’ cross the aisle with ole Tip, managed the feat. And if we hear anything about that era, we hear about Reagan crushingHistory’s Greatest Monster and Son of History’s Greatest Monster. Steve Benen at the Maddow blog points out that Obama now joins a list of six Presidents with 51% or more in two elections: Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the aforementioned Eisenhower, and now, Barack Obama.
But, of course, the GOP in the House must be allowed to set policy for the country. Obama has achieved no mandate; not in 2008, not in 2012. Whatever in the hell it is that happened in November is certainly not a mandate to govern. Any serious person realizes this implicitly. If anything, he should look for GOP goodwill by moving quickly to eliminate Social Security and Medicare. Then I’m sure they’ll come right around to his way of thinking.
Can we please at least agree that vaguely worded letters sent to the President do not constitute a legislative proposal? Or did the CBO start scoring letters that are 90% vacuous talking points; add to that the fact that these very empty talking points were soundly crushed by plebiscite just weeks ago?
Likewise, slightly less vague details provided on background do not a serious proposal make. These details are provided on background precisely so they may be disavowed at any moment. This is not “Boehner’s Proposal.” It is bullshit. But, even then, the GOP proposes extracting from the backs of the poor, elderly, and infirm a dollar value less than half of what Obama attains by slightly inconveniencing the very rich. Apparently this fact was not worth noting, background or otherwise.
Our media entertainment complex finds none of this worth noting. Math is hard and so very boring, but can’t we at least admit the vacuity and shady sourcing of this “plan” when reporting it? Apparently not.
"It’s really amazing to see political reporters dutifully passing along Republican complaints that President Obama’s opening offer in the fiscal cliff talks is just a recycled version of his old plan, when those same reporters spent the last year dutifully passing along Republican complaints that Obama had no plan. It’s even more amazing to see them pass along Republican outrage that Obama isn’t cutting Medicare enough, in the same matter-of-fact tone they used during the campaign to pass along Republican outrage that Obama was cutting Medicare.
This isn’t just cognitive dissonance. It’s irresponsible reporting. Mainstream media outlets don’t want to look partisan, so they ignore the BS hidden in plain sight, the hypocrisy and dishonesty that defines the modern Republican Party. I’m old enough to remember when Republicans insisted that anyone who said they wanted to cut Medicare was a demagogue, because I’m more than three weeks old. […] I realize that the GOP’s up-is-downism puts news reporters in an awkward position. It would seem tendentious to point out Republican hypocrisy on deficits and Medicare and stimulus every time it comes up, because these days it comes up almost every time a Republican leader opens his mouth. But [journalists are] not supposed to be stenographers. As long as the media let an entire political party invent a new reality every day, it will keep on doing it. Every day."
— Michael Grunwald writing for Swampland because such things just aren’t said in the polite company of mainstream journalism or even journalistic criticism like that on offer at Reliable Sources. Still: Huzzah. That anyone says it, even a lowly blogger out here on drugs, is a small victory. And, just as he concludes, it will take people screaming about this, every day, for decades, because that’s exactly how the GOP has done it since the late 70s. And it’s worked out pretty well for them.
Mitt Romney, BUSINESSMAN, is the only person who can save ‘Merica from inevitable doom. With his business sense; running ‘Merica like a corporation and all that. Clearly, a part of that multidimensional chess maneuver for America is massively and systematically overpaying for advertising. It’s just good business to do so. You wouldn’t understand.
"Obama ignored vast swaths of his agenda [while campaigning], barely mentioning climate change or education reform, but by God did he hammer home the fact that his winning would bring higher taxes on the rich. He raised it so relentlessly that at times it seemed out of proportion even to me, and I wrote a book on the topic. But polls consistently showed the public was on his side."
— Jonathan Chait, who may as well be yelling at the clouds because, even though he’s right, it seems the forces of the status quo (MSM and GOP alike) can and will move heaven and earth if need be to preserve the current Bush-Obama tax cut rate for the very richest ~2% of Americans rather than simply revert to current law and let those rates on income above $250k move up by (gasp) ~2.5% to the Clinton era rates. Far better to memory hole all that Romney/Obama debating, claim the election was shockingly “idea free,” that nearly 4M extra popular voters and 332 electoral votes isn’t a mandate, and demand the ever-popular grand bargain, which, if course, is only grand or a bargain for the wealthiest 2% of Americans, many or most of whom likely did not vote for Obama. The rest of you: go die in the streets.
John Chait looks at “moderate” Republican apologists and doesn’t like what he sees:
[Michael Gerson] wants a specific assurance that Ryan doesn’t plan to roll back government at the expense of the poor and vulnerable? We already have a specific, written assurance that it will come at the expense of the poor and vulnerable. That assurance is called “the Ryan plan.” It details absolutely enormous cuts to programs for the poor. And it’s not like Ryan was backing away from those cuts in his speech. The Ryan poverty speech was about how throwing poor people off their government-funded nutritional assistance and health care would force them off their lazy butts and make them go get a job, plus private charity something something.
It is remarkable how Republicans have managed to hold together a coalition of not only voters but leading public intellectuals who simply refuse to face up to what their party actually stands for.
Not only do the Serious People refuse to face up to their own blind spots; that would be bad enough but ultimately tolerable…just don’t bother reading them. Far worse, though, these self-appointed Serious Ones are group that provides the political oxygen for the increasingly right wing nutjobs that are standing for office around the country by painting them with an air of reasonability and acceptability.
If (to name but one example cited above) they would face the harsh, detailed in black and white reality of the Ryan Plan, and then call these folks out early and often on this kind of nonsense, it would end. You wouldn’t be able to talk about it in Serious company, because you’d know you would be called out nationally, explicitly, point-by-point, and painstakingly made to defend it all. Or, perhaps, the nation would collectively decide “yes, that’s what we want.” But this crap of pretending none of it exists, that there is no factual proof that this is the plan, or intimating that it isn’t what they’d really do when given the chance is the worst of all possible worlds. And, most infuriatingly of all, these fuckers self-aggrandizingly think of themselves as the Serious People in the room. They are nothing of the sort. They are, perhaps, the least serious people in all of American thought.
Intellectual honesty. Empirical reality. Rigor. None of these things are hallmarks of David Brooks, Michael Gerson, or any of these so called moderates. When are we or they planning to do something about that? Looking at you, New York Times.
Mitt Romney: our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917.
Barack Obama: I think Governor Romney maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works.You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.
Sean Hannity: Marines still use bayonets, so maybe somebody should educate the president about how the military works.
“Did Romney call for well-off Americans to contribute nothing to deficit reduction — or for hard-working high school graduates to be deported, though they were brought here as children – or for millions of poor workers to be stripped of basic health coverage – because he really believes in this pinched vision of America? Or did he do it because he thought that’s what it took to win the nomination?
“I have no idea, my friends. And neither does anyone else.
“That’s the point. It’s impossible to know Mitt Romney’s real values. But it’s entirely possible to understand the conservative forces Romney has pandered to and empowered in his thirst for office. They’re the same extremists who will be calling the shots if you send him to the White House.
Just some of Matt Miller’s speaking suggestions to Joe Biden. Probably best to forward this to Biden’s boss as well. Read the whole thing