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.
There’s no mystery as to why the National Republican Campaign Committee hates Nancy Pelosi, but their dislike for San Francisco is a bit puzzling.
Almost directly, and seemingly without realizing it, Matt Yglesias also provides the answer:
[San Francisco is] an enormous economic success story. The San Francisco metropolitan area has the fourth-highest median household income in the country, with its Bay Area partner San Jose coming in at number three. Metro San Francisco is in a tie for having the third-highest-pay for low-wage workers, its fourth in median wages, and third in 90th percentile wages.
GOP orthodoxy requires “government” of any kind to be an abject and self-evident failure. Few citizens of the US would dispute the sense that San Francisco is the liberal bastion of the United States. Therefore it must be an urban hellhole and not be visited by any kind of success. Where success exists, it must be ignored. Similarly, old Taxachusetts must be forever suffering under the yoke of ludicrously high taxes (and one must never acknowledge the reality: that MA’s effective tax rates and collective tax burden generally trend lower than those of old Live Free or Die itself, that glibertarian heaven called New Hampshire).
Much like the Post Office and many other examples, any functioning example of government, large or small, must be (at a minimum) denigrated. If possible, it must also be actively undermined such that it may then be pointed to as an example of the impossibility of government intervention, large or small. All evidence to the contrary must be marginalized. And that is why the GOP “hates” San Francisco and largely assumes it to be barely survivable smoking ruin.
Dean Baker, once again, pointing out an inconvenient truth:
… a study by Charles Rivers Associates suggests that the main impact of the regulation would be to hasten the replacement of old polluting power plants. This could help to create jobs in the private sector in the next few years, a period in which all projections show that the economy will still be suffering from substantial unemployment.
In other words, if Obama was interested in an action that he could take unilaterally that would create jobs, supporting the EPA on the ozone restrictions probably would have topped the list. In nixing the regulation, Obama went the job killing route.
This is precisely the sort of thing that happens when you adopt the framing of your opponent. You end up painted into a political corner, rhetorically speaking, and pretty soon it seems reasonable and even advantageous to make boneheaded moves like this one that are not only economically counterproductive, but work to dishearten your supporters and embolden those of your opponents. Well played, Democrat.
If Republicans have their way, taxes will increase next year by $120 billion. Republicans in favor of tax increases? Sadly, yes.
The post goes on to lay out its theories on the GOP loving only tax cuts for the rich and so forth. But I think this is wrong.
The House GOP is against this particular tax cut continuing solely because Obama wants it to continue. Any policy underlying that singular issue is beside the point. “Obama’s for it” is reason enough for them to oppose anything to the bitter end.
A simple experiment would clear this up for the broader electorate. Obama should choose two or three of the most dearly held GOP beliefs and take them up. Argue for their immediate passage. But he should be sure to stand clear of the microphone, as there will be a stampede of Tea Klanners vying to be the first to refudiate lower capital gains taxes, or an end to the “death” tax, or massive corporate welfare giveaways to our Galtian Overlords.
We’ve said it before, and Serious People tend to think it’s some kind of a joke when you point it out to them, but if he wants to succeed on the policy front Obama needs to come out against wind power, trains, lower taxes, and single payer health care. It’s the only way those issues will ever get any traction from either party.
Try it and see. It’s the awful truth of today’s politics and sadly how things “work.”
"A number of economists tell us if we can cut spending it will lead to a better environment for job creation in America"
— John Boehner, Speaker of the House.
Exactly what number of economists would that be, John? One? Two? Because the vast preponderance of economists, at least those located anywhere on the Earth think otherwise. And you don’t have to throw your lot in with a bunch of pointy-headed intellectuals either, because that’s an experiment that’s been tried. In fact, they’re trying it right now in the UK and, hey presto!, it’s costing jobs not creating them. And the UK’s experience is far from being an outlier in this regard. Cutting government spending to “create” jobs is something that’s never been shown to, you know, work. Ever.
If nothing happens, history will say that the War Powers Act was condemned to a quiet death by a president who had solemnly pledged, on the campaign trail, to put an end to indiscriminate warmaking.
The President has the unilateral authority to end life on Earth at any moment of his choosing with our nuclear arsenal. Unless and until Congress takes that authority away and ties it to normal, Constitutionally regulated war declaration mechanisms then none of the other details really matters (and this is why even the GOP House doesn’t get too worked up about it: War Powers stuff (60 day limits and etc…) is, in essence, a meaningless distraction and Congress knows it). It also seems likely to be unconstitutional, or, at the very least of questionable legality.
Whatever their reasoning on the War Powers Act and its applicability and/or enforcement is, Congress has a simple recourse that’s clearly enumerated in the Constitution: defund Libyan operations and demand the President request a formal declaration of war if he wants to continue. Same goes for Iraq and Afghanistan. There should have been just such a declaration on or about September 12, 2001.
Either hold the country to formal declarations of war in all cases or don’t; but let’s be consistent and honest and admit that holding to a strict Constitutional standard means removing “The Button” from the Oval Office once and for all.
As a bonus, doing so also gives you an excuse to clean up the rampant classification of everything that is currently carried out under the same “imminent and existential nuclear disaster” model of national security. This plainly anti-democratic power, again, was conferred as some sort of necessary evil in Our Nuclear Age. End it now and forever; make the President and anyone else have to prove to a judge or some similar panel that something should be classified because it poses a clear and measurable risk to National Security if revealed, and even then only classify it for a short time period with regular review for declassification.
"…over the past week I’ve been watching the almost pathetic desperation with which conservatives are trying to denigrate Obama’s part in the bin Laden operation. Really, it’s been awesome. On radio, TV, blogs, op-eds, pretty much everywhere, they’ve been virtually in a lather insisting that Obama himself played no real role; that he’s arrogantly hogging the spotlight; that he screwed up by announcing the operation so soon; that the entire success is really due to Bush-era torture policies; that he shouldn’t have killed bin Laden; that he’s being churlish by not giving George W. Bush enough credit; etc. etc. etc. It’s been a virtual feeding frenzy, and the stink of fear that Obama is appropriating the traditional Republican role as killer of bad guys is palpable.
[…] But Republicans already have a message that they want to stay laser-focused on: tackling the deficit. The fact that they’re taking so much time out from that to denigrate Obama’s role in the bin Laden operation suggests that they think this is a big deal. And if they think it’s a big deal, then maybe it is. They’re usually pretty good at reading the public mood, after all."
— Kevin Drum
I’d say it has more to do with the GOP’s lockstep use of the bogeyman approach to 9/11: using Osama bin Laden as the unique personification of international terrorism on Earth and their implicit agreement that, until this particular bogeyman is caught, the War on Terror must continue without recourse to question or even reason, along with attendant military spending, shoot-from-the-hip wars in any country be they “ally” or ally, endless civil liberties roll-backs, and etc… They’ve pumped their followers and the country at large so full of this super-villain schtick that now, when a Democrat they constantly tar as weak, indecisive, ineligible, and “dangerously inexperienced” is the man who ordered a direct, face to face assassination inside a sovereign nation ostensibly our ally and but also who were notably not informed of said operation is decidedly inconvenient. Even Sainted Reagan never dared such a thing, preferring to invade largely defenseless islands or lob in a few bombs in vain hope of catching his particular bogeyman (a tactic Obama recently trotted out in Libya as well).
So, if you’re a Republican, this event cuts at both your go-to bogeyman of the last decade (and the reaction in the streets certainly was more on the order of that seen at the demonstrable end of a long war rather than an infamous international criminal finally being brought to justice; I’ll grant them that their noise machine definitely works) and simultaneously cuts against your beloved hobby horse about weak-kneed Democrats and their inability to “do” national defense. Pile on that Obama the campaigner said words along the lines of “bin Laden should be our priority,” Obama the President said the same, and Obama the results man delivered exactly that result. There’s simply no way to spin it away. Their inability to take this political lump, let Obama have a win in their home court, and just let it drop is all that’s keeping the “story” side of this event going.
Rarely do you see the GOP victimized by its own noise machine tactics, but every so often they seem to forget they run the noise machine and if they stop talking about it, the noise machine along with the broader MSM will go on to some other shiny penny in about 16 minutes. Doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.
"[If the nation took an extremely vigorous stance on oil exploitation — and relaxed restrictions on the Gulf and drilled in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and off the coast of California, where America’s most easily accessible offshore oil is located — it still would not have much of an impact.] With the exception of the deep Gulf, where there are restrictions, people are drilling as fast as they can […] You might, under really optimistic scenarios, over five or six years, add 2 million barrels a day of production. On a global scale, it’s significant. But we would still be big importers — we would still be dependent on foreign oil. [Oil is traded on a world market, and the United States does not have enough petroleum to increase the global supply, which would reduce demand — and thus the price — for fuel.]"
— Mike Lynch, Strategic Energy and Economic Research, Inc. analyst and a self-proclaimed Republican, speaking to the Huffington Post. This cannot be repeated frequently enough. Something like it should be a regular refrain for Obama and all top Democratic leaders.
“Drill, baby, drill!” simply will not, cannot work to reduce, much less end our dependence on foreign oil. Period. Wishing won’t make it so. Willpower doesn’t enter into it. There isn’t enough oil on the Earth. Full stop.
All talk of carbon and its impacts aside: Find cheap space oil or think of some other way to generate power. Those are your two choices. Drilling won’t fix it. Ever.
Forget all the road to Damascus stuff in the piece, this is what I find important:
I’d argue that conservatives and libertarians should strongly support regulation to reduce carbon pollution, since pollution by one entity invariably infringes upon the rights of others (including property rights), and no entity has a constitutional right to pollute. It does not put America on the road to serfdom to suggest that the federal government has a compelling interest in protecting the country from ecological damage. If anything, it puts America on the road to common sense.
Exactly right. This is how Democrats should be messaging on this issue. It removes the ever-present and undeniable impulse in the MSM to punch the dirty fucking hippies whenever possible, the nigh irresistible impulse to note that it “snowed today,” and the much beloved “well, Al Gore sure is fat” gambit and frames the debate in terms even libertarians can understand.
Part Two of said strategy needs to incorporate the notion that even if we’re 100% wrong these measures will be good for the country and likely even of existential importance relative to our industrial and economic standing in the world. Getting off our oil addiction is, plain and simple, a good idea, no matter what you think the output carbon of our oil economy is doing. We’re going to be getting off of oil sooner or later, may as well start now and be the arbiter or at least one of the arbiters of the post-oil economy. Furthermore, if you want America “making things” again, the most likely and highest value target for said industry is in the post-oil transition. Not only can you sell such technology to the developed world, the whole of the developing world will be knocking at your door as well.
There is not enough reserve oil in American hands to measurably move the global market, even if we could extract it all tonight. There just isn’t. We wouldn’t even make an appreciable impact on our own rate of import were we to employ all of our oil; even that small but measurable impact would only last for a year or two. We may hold 1-2% of proven world reserves. Period. We cannot and will not ever produce our way off of foreign oil. It is simply not possible given current or projected usage. And, oh by the way, there isn’t enough global capacity either, though only the US military seems willing to admit it publicly.
The time to start dealing with both the implicit misconception (Drill baby drill!) and the overriding and much more important harsh reality is right now, not 20 years from now when our oil addiction and its impacts is both (still) utterly undeniable and but it is also too late to do anything about it.
"I disagree strongly with the concept of separation of church and state. It was not written into the Constitution. While we have a Constitution that is very strong in the sense that we are not gonna have a religion that’s sanctioned by the government, it doesn’t mean that we need to have a separation between government and religion. And so that, that concerns me a great deal."
— Ken Buck, Tea Klan candidate for Senate from Colorado.
We’re going to have to start with phonics, and only then move up to vocabulary.