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.
"[…] 4. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that in FY 2014 (which runs from October 2013 through September 2014), total federal income will be $3,042 billion and total spending will be $3,602 billion, a difference of $560 billion.
5. This is the amount of debt we need to issue to pay for everything in the budget, which means that if the debt limit isn’t raised, we need to immediately cut spending by $560 billion, or $46 billion per month.
6. That’s roughly the equivalent of wiping out the entire Defense Department; or wiping out two-thirds of Social Security; or wiping out all of Medicaid + all unemployment insurance + all food assistance + all veterans’ benefits."
— Kevin Drum, excerpted from a longer “10 sentences about” piece on the debt ceiling breach.
He’s right, of course, but I think he also touches on exactly the sort of messaging that’s required here by the Democrats. Out there, every day, saying “why does the GOP want to eliminate the Defense Department?” until people just can’t stand to hear it anymore. Then you say it 10,000,000 more times. Then, when the lunatic wing of the GOP relents or is bypassed by some less pure version of democracy in the House than “the majority of the majority party rule,” you continue to say “why did they want to eliminate the Defense Department? Can we trust a party that would take away all veterans benefits over some sort of party ideological purity test?” You continue saying something like that for at least 20 years, after which it might start to sink in.
This doesn’t seem so hard to understand, but The Democrat still doesn’t seem to get it.
Reince Priebus (Chairman of the RNC): [Obama is] the king of golf and vacations!
Sad Reality: Obama would have to take off the next 2.5 years in order to catch up with President George W. Bush's vacation record. By this time, Bush had taken 349 days off, Obama has taken 96. Even Saint Reagan took 180 days off, about twice Obama's current tally. The GOP controlled House is out for 5 weeks. Obama is taking 8 days. Move over Jimmy Carter, we've truly found History's Greatest Monster.
COLUMBUS [OHIO] — Before getting a prescription for Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs, men would have to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency, if state Sen. Nina Turner has her way.
The Cleveland Democrat introduced Senate Bill 307 this week.
A critic of efforts to restrict abortion and contraception for women, Turner says she is concerned about men’s reproductive health.
This is probably the surest way forward. Sad, but true. In every state with restrictive abortion legislation in the works or already in the books, do this. And then, assuming you get one passed, tighten it up some more every legislative session after that. Only one hospital in the state is certified for analyzing prospective prescriptions. Tie repeal to abortion and birth control rights. At least you’ll have their attention.
"I do not know what helps or does not help the terrorists. And I’m certainly not saying that Barbara Starr helped the terrorists by publishing her report. I don’t think she did. Anymore than Glenn Greenwald did. And more importantly, I don’t think the vast majority of people you see opining on “what helps the terrorists” have any clue what does or doesn’t. But it is a problem for this country, and for the functioning of our democracy, when Glenn Greenwald’s leak reporting is treated so differently than the Barbara Starr leak reporting. When, as with Glenn Greenwald’s reporting, the leaks are not specifically designed to advance the Pentagon’s agenda, then we have shock and controversy, and calls for prosecution. But when they are [designed to advance the Pentagon’s agenda], as with the Barbara Starr reporting…radio silence.
There is a vast and growing web of secret government in this country. And simply cannot be the case, it is not acceptable, that the only things we know about it, are the things that the members of that secret government want us to know. Because at the end of the day, it is on us, it is on all of us, what our government does in our name."
"…maybe part of the problem is we need to go back into the schools at a very early age, maybe at the grade school level, and have a class for the young girls and have a class for the young boys and say, ‘You know, this is what’s important. This is what a father does that is maybe a little different, maybe a little bit better than the talents that a mom has in a certain area. And the same thing for the young girls, that, you know, this is what a mom does, and this is what is important from the standpoint of that union which we call marriage.’"
— Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday. These are the views of the people that are holding the country hostage. And the hostages can’t seem to find a way of effectively countering any of it.
"Obama is still trying to win over the Serious People, by showing that he’s willing to do what they consider Serious — which just about always means sticking it to the poor and the middle class. The idea is that they will finally drop the false equivalence, and admit that he’s reasonable while the GOP is mean-spirited and crazy.
But it won’t happen. Watch the Washington Post editorial page over the next few days. I hereby predict that it will damn Obama with faint praise, saying that while it’s a small step in the right direction, of course it’s inadequate — and anyway, Obama is to blame for Republican intransigence, because he could make them accept a Grand Bargain that includes major revenue increases if only he would show Leadership (TM)."
— Paul Krugman gets it right on the rumored Obama budget. This is the classic misstep; sure, it’s purely symbolic, but it moves the discussion to the right, damages what should be a through-line about the worth (and therefore the inviolability of) Social Security, and sets the stage for a Grand Bargain that is even further to the right than this “symbolic” proposal. After all, this is now Obama’s starting position. Any “compromise” will by necessity “hurt” Obama a little more in exchange for exactly zero GOP concessions and, additionally and without regard to any possible outcome, hands the GOP a readymade 2014 advertising campaign about Democrat cuts to your Social Security. It’s just the way Washington works now. And Obama’s people still haven’t figured it out and, apparently, never will.
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.
"[The Hastert] rule is completely dead. The Democrats now effectively control the floor because nothing ‘big’ will come to the floor without knowing in advance that lots of Democrats support it. That gives the Democrats tremendous power in a body where the minority is not designed to have much power."
Unnamed Republican Aide, likening the appropriate and intended function of the House to “tremendous power.” How we can have an MSM that drones on and on about “reaching across the aisle” in the face of a reality that includes a de facto rule stating that nothing moves unless it will pass with only majority votes is and long has been beyond me.
Even still, former Speaker Hastert’s own reaction to the weakening and even ending of his “rule” is all the more telling:
Maybe you can do it once, maybe you can do it twice, but when you start making deals when you have to get Democrats to pass the legislation, you are not in power anymore.
So, then, making a deal at all is tantamount to surrendering all power. Breathtaking.
To see what the Boehner rule means, consider the following facts. Based on projections done last August by the Congressional Budget Office, the national debt will increase over the next decade by about $12 trillion under current law. To cut spending over the next decade by $12 trillion, it would be necessary to cut annual spending by an average of $1.2 trillion a year. Since total non-interest spending over that period will average $4 trillion a year under current law, about 30 percent of projected spending would have to be eliminated. Because big cuts are impossible next year or the year after, the required cuts toward the end of the decade would have to approach 50 percent to satisfy the Boehner rule. As it happens, no one in either party—and, most tellingly, none of those insisting on the dollar-of-cuts-for-a-dollar-of-increase-in-the-debt-ceiling trade-off—has indicated where spending cuts of even one half this amount should come from. Even so, they have declared that they will oppose any increase in the debt ceiling unless these terms are met. And they have the votes to make their commitment hold.
My only real complaint is calling any of these “rules” in the House rules. Hastert, Boehner, what-have-you: they have no force of law and only exist as a “rule” in the sense that washing one’s hands after using the toilet does. If one does so, one is following the rule. If not, well, uh not much really. The Boehner Affectation, or the Boehner Most Dangerous Strongly Held Opinion. Whatever, just not a “rule.”
But: yep. And the reason no one “has indicated where spending cuts of even one half this amount should come from”? Because they don’t give a shit about the deficit. This whole “crisis” was created and continues to exist as a useful cudgel to extract tax cuts for the rich and benefit cuts for the poor. Period, the end. Positive deficit impacts of said policy, be they large or small, are purely coincidental and entirely unintended.