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.
Chris Hayes moves to msnbc weekday prime time. Nice. But I can’t help but notice this:
"Up” doesn’t have a huge audience […] but it consistently beats CNN on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and it has been praised by media critics for allowing long, thoughtful conversations about politics and public policy, the kind rarely seen elsewhere on television.
These conversations usually project a liberal worldview, in line with MSNBC as a whole. But Mr. Hayes and his producers also try to book guests who don’t often get on television, including conservatives; a recent discussion with Mr. Hayes and four conservatives lit up the blogosphere. “Add this segment to the list of reasons Chris Hayes’ Up has become the most interesting weekend political show in America”
Emphasis added to help me ask exactly which feature of Up do you assume is the least likely to survive the massive transition to a “prime time audience”? Right this very second in some boardroom somewhere, somebody is saying “all that thoughtfulness may work on a Saturday morning, but…”
CNN's Piers MORGAN: let's talk about homosexuality because -- and is that wrong? Do you think it's a sin?
GOP Presidential Hopeful Herman CAIN: I think it's a sin because of my biblical beliefs and although people don't agree with me, I happen to think that it is a choice.
MORGAN: You believe that?
CAIN: I believe that.
MORGAN: You believe people -- seriously, you think people get to a certain age and go, I think I want to be homosexual?
CAIN: Let me turn it around to you. What does science show? You show me evidence other than opinion and you might cause me to reconsider that. [...Crosstalk...] Where is the -- where is evidence?
MORGAN: Just common -- you're a commonsense guy.
CAIN: Are you a common sense kind of guy? [...]
MORGAN: Wait a minute, let me ask you. You genuinely believe millions of Americans wake up in their late teens normally and go, you know what, I quite fancy being a homosexual? You don't believe that.
MORGAN: Do you?
CAIN: You haven't given me any evidence to convince me otherwise nor has anyone else. [...]
MORGAN: It would be like a gay person saying, Herman, you made a choice to be black.
CAIN: We know that's not the case. I was born black.
MORGAN: Yes, maybe if they said that, you would find it offensive.
CAIN: Piers, this doesn't wash off. I hate to burst your bubble.
Lemkin: The MSM eternally believes that the GOP field doesn't actually believe any of this stuff. Inevitably, when they bother to probe what they assume is just bluster and/or red meat for the far right, they are shocked, SHOCKED to find that, yep, they all actually believe and plan to act on all this stuff and more. You'd think that on the 4 millionth occasion of this sort Serious People would start to see a pattern and begin to report on it accordingly. Herman Cain believes the gays should just wash it off and join "proper," Herman Cain's Christian God-fearing society. Perhaps this sort of incredibly unpopular, far right opinion both imparts important information about his dedication to personal liberty (that the GOP spends so very much time talking about but zero time actually implementing for anyone in the 99%) and furthermore speaks to how he'd govern on a host of similar wedge issues. A version of this country with a functioning media would be a very different place indeed.
"Does that mean that you would raise taxes on the 47 percent of Americans who currently don’t pay taxes?"
— Anderson Cooper, buying into the entirely wrong, entirely Tea Klan promulgated notion that about half of Americans pay no taxes.
Anderson, and everyone else, everyone, every single adult citizen pays federal taxes in this country or they are breaking the law. Even this 47% to which you refer still pays payroll taxes related to Social Security, Medicare, and etc… if they are employed. However, they may well earn too little money to exceed the standard individual/married filing jointly deduction. Thus, they effectively pay no federal income tax. They do, however, still pay all the rest of it. Period. They do, however, still pay state and local taxes. Period. In any meaningful case: This adds up to a lot more than one dollar (which was Bachmann’s suggested “solution” to the “issue”). But that’s all too boring or too partisan to mention, apparently.
In a functioning society, the media individual selected to mediate this event might just see fit to mention this. Worth noting that, in our society, that sort of thing never, ever happens, and this tax thing is but one of literally hundreds of such opportunities for meaningful intervention in last night’s debate. The level of foreign aid, the current funding totals for defense (with regard to the suggested cut), the real impact of immigration on the economy of this country, foreclosures, and on and on and on.
And so the Republic crumbles.
"It’s Congress that does the spending. The president is prohibited to do that. If he had the power to do that he would effectively be a dictator. There would be no reason for Congress to even come to Washington, D.C. He would be making the spending decisions … Clearly that’s unconstitutional."
— Michele Bachmann, speaking to CNN’s American Morning.
Every now and then something true slips out of the GOP’s fetid maw. But, by all means, let’s pretend Obama and his “blank check” are what caused the current entirely invented “crisis.”
CNN’s headline for this small story? Why, of course it’s Bachmann Warns of ‘Dictator’ Obama. What other choice did they have?
I’ve said before that the “kitchen table” meme needs to die. But before it shuffles off this mortal coil, President Obama should put it to use one more time:
"My fellow Americans, we in the United States are like so many of you, sitting at your kitchen table and wondering where to come up with money to cover an unexpected expense while still keeping the lights on and food on the table. As you may have heard, the National Bureau of Economic Research recently reported that most Americans couldn’t produce $2000 on short notice without selling possessions or finding a lender to borrow it from. The government faces these questions all the time; like right now, with some members of Congress moving to prevent us from providing emergency funds to help the victims of the terrible tornado in Joplin, Missouri.
"In some ways, the problems of deficits and the debt that the federal government accumulates are no different from you, at your kitchen table, trying to come up with that desperately needed $2000 on short notice. As you all know, the United States has seen historic shortfalls over the last several years as government income has dropped dramatically as a direct result of the downturn in the global economy. At the same time, of course, we’ve had to increase various outlays and spending just to maintain existing programs or fund new recovery efforts and, of course, continue fighting two wars.
"Now, because of all this, we in the government find ourselves sitting around our kitchen table talking about the budget and our debts. The Democrats in Congress and I have suggested various cuts and other ways to tighten our belts, just like all of you have had to do through this time of economic hardship and struggle; but we also believe that since the government can currently borrow at historically low rates, we should take advantage of that capability while it’s here. More to the point: we think it would be foolish not to. It’s the difference between spending on large, unnecessary purchases and recognizing a genuine opportunity that also carries with it a long-term but sustainable debt. Much like when you bought your first home, or a car, or started a small business and the bank ensured that you could actually meet the payments at the interest rates offered; in the same way, the world market believes that the US government will remain solvent and thus continues to offer money at very low interest. This will not always be so, but we Democrats believe we should take advantage of it while we can and that we should use that extra buying power to empower the American economy on its road to recovery.
"The Republicans, on the other hand, are suggesting that we sell the furniture at whatever price the first person offers us, put the children to work at dangerous jobs, eat tainted food and dirty water to save a few cents, and finally default on our existing financial obligations such that we can pay down that mortgage on the house as quickly as possible, even if that action means incurring penalties, and they want to do all of this despite the fact that we have access to stable, reasonable long term interest rates and also have the wherewithal to make payments long into the foreseeable future. It’s like they want us to finance a car on a high interest credit card instead of through a traditional bank loan just because they want to give the people at the credit card company some more money. It doesn’t make any financial sense for the country and only functions to create wealth for the handfull of people at the very top of the financial system.
"I think I know which road you as Americans want us to take. So why not sit down at that kitchen table of yours and write or call your Congressperson and let them know?
"Thank you for listening. Good night, and good luck."
Elliot Spitzer (4/6/11): Congressman, thank you so much for joining us tonight….Look, I want to begin with the question that goes to a simple notion of fairness. And here's how I want to frame it for you. The top one percent of income earners in our nation get 25 percent of the income and control 40 percent of the wealth. Those numbers have gone through the roof over the last decade or two. And yet Paul Ryan's budget plan imposes two-thirds of its burdens on the poor. Two-thirds! Right after we gave a big tax cut to the rich. Does that violate your sense of fairness in a very basic sense?
Rich Iott: [5th SS Wiking Panzer Division] were doing what they thought was right for their country. And they were going out and fighting what they thought was a bigger, you know, a bigger evil [...] this particular unit was one that was never charged with war crimes
Anderson Cooper: [Actually, members have been charged with with the murder of 58 Jews]
Rich Iott: The war on the eastern front was extremely brutal on both sides. Nobody was lily-white, that's for sure. Horrible things that happened on both sides.
By 47 to 45 percent, Americans say Obama is a better president than George W. Bush. But that two point margin is down from a 23 point advantage one year ago.
"But that doesn’t mean that Americans regret their decision to put Obama in the White House in 2008. By a 50 to 42 percent margin, the public says that Obama has done a better job than Sen. John McCain would have done if he had won. And by a 10-point margin, Americans also say that Joe Biden has done a better job than Sarah Palin would have done as vice president," adds Holland.
Well, I guess there’s that. Of course, we also know that only 60% of Americans can correctly identify Biden as the Vice President. Which means Team Obama is in good graces with about half the folks that have any idea who’s actually serving. Go Democrats!
Lemon: Don't you think it's a bit different considering what happened on 9/11? And the people have said there's a need for it in Lower Manhattan, so that's why it's being built there. What about 10, 20 blocks . . . Midtown Manhattan, considering the circumstances behind this? That's not understandable?
Patel: In America, we don't tell people based on their race or religion or ethnicity that they are free in this place, but not in that place --
Lemon: [interrupting] I understand that, but there's always context, Mr. Patel . . . this is an extraordinary circumstance. You understand that this is very heated. Many people lost their loved ones on 9/11 --
Patel: Including Muslim Americans who lost their loved ones. . . .
Lemon: Consider the context here. That's what I'm talking about.
Patel: I have to tell you that this seems a little like telling black people 50 years ago: you can sit anywhere on the bus you like - just not in the front.
Lemon: I think that's apples and oranges - I don't think that black people were behind a Terrorist plot to kill people and drive planes into a building. That's a completely different circumstance.
Patel: And American Muslims were not behind the terrorist plot either.