Lemkin

Gone To Since 1984

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.

George Carlin

  • March 26, 2013 12:10 pm

    Yglesisas Answers it All

    Matt Yglesias asks:

    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.

  • October 31, 2012 11:24 am

    "The lesson here is simple. At a deep ideological level, Republicans believe that federal bureaucracies are inherently inept, so when Republicans occupy the White House they have no interest in making the federal bureaucracy work. And it doesn’t."

    Kevin Drum, making a point that I’d take even further: The GOP not only has no interest in “making it work,” they have a vested interest in the federal bureaucracy looking as ineffective as possible. That’s the only way to feed the larger narrative that government is bad in every instance, in every venture, and must never be tried as a potential solution for anything. Thus Mitt’s “just let industry clean it up” blather; he knows there will be no challenge, there will be no “so what’s the business model there, exactly and in detail?” question from an ever-pliant media. He can say it with impunity because the GOP has been peddling versions of this line for 20 years now and people have essentially stopped thinking about or even really hearing it.
    This is also why the Post Office is being run into the ground with malice aforethought; no program major, minor, or indispensable can be seen to work. At best, government programs can only be tolerated. This is why there’s no interest in actually managing defense procurement (which would seem to be a GOP darling on its face). The GOP does want the weapons the better to kill people with; but any overruns are just excellent evidence as to the inability of government to do anything. So why bother actually reigning anything in? Forget those damnable statistics showing the decline in bureaucrats in military procurement exactly tracks the explosion in cost overruns and delays. That’s just numbers. They lie. Follow your gut and most of all your basest fears: government can do nothing and must be eliminated wherever possible. Therefore, more in sadness than in anger, the time has come to eliminate Medicare and Social Security.

    Government can do nothing. Go die in the streets. This is who they are.

  • July 12, 2012 3:33 pm

    Krugman Nails It

      New York City Romney Donor in Land Cruiser:  "We’ve got the message. But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.”
      Krugman:  "So I was curious: what do “nails ladies” earn? The answer, according to the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics, is that in 2010 the mean annual wage of Manicurists and Pedicurists was $21,760. Among other things, this means that nails ladies probably face a higher marginal effective tax rate than Romney donors."
      Lemkin:  A truly agile messaging arm in a tight election year would have had Krugman responding to this linkage, not making it. This is why we fail.
  • January 17, 2012 3:36 pm

    Why They Fail

    Mitt Romney:

    “What’s the effective rate I’ve been paying? It’s probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything,” Romney, a GOP presidential candidate, said. “My last 10 years, I’ve — my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past rather than ordinary income or rather than earned annual income. I got a little bit of income from my book, but I gave that all away. And then I get speaker’s fees from time to time, but not very much.”

    According to his most recent financial disclosure statement, he earned nearly $375,000 for nine speaking engagements in 2010 and early 2011.

    Well, now, this would seem to be a rather rich potential political line of attack. In one simple, straightforward stroke you have a narrative that both weakens Romney and advances important information in the broader sense relative to what’s really been going wrong in America these past ~40 years. Not only does Mitt (unsurprisingly) pay the preposterously low 15% rate on his largely-investment-based income, a rate dramatically lower than most Americans pay on far less income and but also Mitt reveals that this is aside from the entirely trivial, “not very much” money he made doing speaking engagements, itself a value fully 10 times the median income in these United States.

    Naturally, The Democrat thinks it’s high time to leave Mitt alone on such issues:

    At least one top Obama surrogate is pushing for the party to shift the balance of its attacks on Mitt Romney away from his days in private equity and on to his time in the public sector. […] “Bain is a little complicated for people to follow.”

    Of course, of course. Who among us can possibly understand that Mitt pays a fraction of the taxes you do on wealth so fucking inexhaustibly vast that he considers income in excess of 10 times what you probably make in a year to be “not very much.” There’s just no way to play that information such that people can follow it.

  • November 18, 2011 12:02 pm
    Do nothing, Congress. Ezra Klein and EJ Dionne both write today about the benefits of simply letting various existing policies expire…doing so would net $7.1 TRILLION in deficit savings over the same decade that the “Super-committee” can’t find a way to reliably extract $1T. This path requires no votes, it requires no legislation, it requires no GOP assistance of any kind. Gridlock is all that’s required to make it happen.
So why is it no Serious Person (to whom deficits are, always have been, and always will be the preeminent policy question come-what-may) ever talks about the biggest deficit reduction plan currently out there, a plan that outstrips all other extant deficit plans by several orders of magnitude? Because they don’t actually care about deficits. None of them do. Because deficit reduction is not the goal. The GOP and their media enablers do not care about deficits. They care about eliminating social spending in this country to lower taxes on the richest 1%. Period. Everything and anything else that happens is collateral damage to that desired policy outcome.

Gridlock works. Gridlock will help America. Relying on gridlock is the best possible negotiating tool for Democrats. Period. Be prepared to end the Bush tax cuts. All of them. Be prepared to end the “doc fix.” All of it. Be prepared to end it all. Then you begin to drive policy decisions and have actual governing authority to get jobs bills and other things done.

Instead, they will, of course, continue to negotiate with themselves and parrot right-wing talking points. This is why they fail.
Just sit there quietly and let it all expire. Whenever the GOP talks about deficits, you bring up the $7T you are cutting deficits by over the next decade. 
When the GOP gets tired of that, realizes you are serious about this, and is ready to talk, they’ll come to you. Then you set the terms. Then you begin to govern. This is how politics works. The Democrat seems to have largely forgotten this. Again: this is why they fail.

    Do nothing, Congress. Ezra Klein and EJ Dionne both write today about the benefits of simply letting various existing policies expire…doing so would net $7.1 TRILLION in deficit savings over the same decade that the “Super-committee” can’t find a way to reliably extract $1T. This path requires no votes, it requires no legislation, it requires no GOP assistance of any kind. Gridlock is all that’s required to make it happen.
    So why is it no Serious Person (to whom deficits are, always have been, and always will be the preeminent policy question come-what-may) ever talks about the biggest deficit reduction plan currently out there, a plan that outstrips all other extant deficit plans by several orders of magnitude? Because they don’t actually care about deficits. None of them do. Because deficit reduction is not the goal. The GOP and their media enablers do not care about deficits. They care about eliminating social spending in this country to lower taxes on the richest 1%. Period. Everything and anything else that happens is collateral damage to that desired policy outcome.

    Gridlock works. Gridlock will help America. Relying on gridlock is the best possible negotiating tool for Democrats. Period. Be prepared to end the Bush tax cuts. All of them. Be prepared to end the “doc fix.” All of it. Be prepared to end it all. Then you begin to drive policy decisions and have actual governing authority to get jobs bills and other things done.

    Instead, they will, of course, continue to negotiate with themselves and parrot right-wing talking points. This is why they fail.
    Just sit there quietly and let it all expire. Whenever the GOP talks about deficits, you bring up the $7T you are cutting deficits by over the next decade. When the GOP gets tired of that, realizes you are serious about this, and is ready to talk, they’ll come to you. Then you set the terms. Then you begin to govern. This is how politics works. The Democrat seems to have largely forgotten this. Again: this is why they fail.

  • October 28, 2011 3:29 pm

    "On the domestic side, both Democrats and Republicans have really made it very difficult for the president to be anything like a chief executive. This has led to a kind of frustration."

    Bill Daley, White House Chief of Staff. This is why they fail.
    Anyone, and I mean anyone who holds this opinion, much less speaks of it to a journalist of any stripe, should resign immediately or have been fired long ago. You think this is frustrating Bill? You think “your” side is equally to blame? Then go the fuck home. You are part of the problem and we’ll get nothing truly worthwhile done until everyone who thinks like you has long since left the scene.

    (Source: tnr.com)

  • October 19, 2011 3:25 pm

    "Americans are hurting across this country, and the president’s out there campaigning. Why isn’t he governing? He doesn’t — he doesn’t have a jobs plan even now."

    Mitt Romney, who must be referring to the fact that the GOP minority in the Senate has already filibustered said “jobs bill” to death and plans to filibuster its pieces to death as well. That pretty much means “Obama has no jobs bill,” right? After all, it’s been uniformly reported as “Democrats fail to pass…” and “Obama jobs bill fails” and never, ever the decidedly shrill “GOP blocks…” or even “Republicans outmaneuver Democrats on jobs…”
    Note to Anderson Cooper: this is precisely the sort of thing you might mention next time it comes up in a debate amongst the folks vying for the Republican nomination for President of these United States. To quote some future Sam Jackson movie: “You the moderator? Then moderate, motherfucker.” Or we’ll just let Watson do it the next time. Frankly, I don’t see how Our Computational Overlord could do any worse.

  • October 19, 2011 11:28 am

    "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.

  • October 17, 2011 9:50 am
    Reblogged to note that an identical poll that instead targeted only Democratic “strategists” would produce the inverse result. They see none of these as “winning” issues, and plainly have no desire to get out of the defensive crouch on any issue of genuine importance, much less any of these. This is why they fail.

    Reblogged to note that an identical poll that instead targeted only Democratic “strategists” would produce the inverse result. They see none of these as “winning” issues, and plainly have no desire to get out of the defensive crouch on any issue of genuine importance, much less any of these. This is why they fail.

  • September 9, 2011 10:21 am

    State of the Art

    John Cole at Balloon Juice officially wins blogging for the week:

    In the long term, assuming [some version of an Obama jobs] plan gets through the House (it won’t), then we get to go through our usual drama of the blue dogs from Red States (Manchin, Nelson, Landrieu, McCaskill, etc.), Lieberman just so he can continue to be the world’s preeminent douchenozzle, and some others I am sure I am missing. They’ll cockblock it on the Senate side, moaning about the program being a deficit buster while conveniently ignoring the fact that each one of them represents a welfare state sucking at the federal teat. Finally, at the 11th hour, Snowe and Collins will swoop in and offer tax cuts for the ultra-rich as a sweetener and they will support it. At this point, Bernie Sanders or whatever progressive hero of the moment will claim he can’t support anything with tax cuts for the rich in it. This will bring things to a standstill for a couple more weeks until another shitty jobs report comes out, and the Senate, acting in the fierce urgency of when-the-fuck-ever will pass some piece of shit that is too small, unfocussed, and does nothing other than provide the left with another opportunity to fracture and start flinging shit at each other. Republicans will have spent the entire time using procedural tricks to slow things down while having Frank Luntz work on the framing of the issue so that by the time it is about to hit the President’s desk, they will already have a cute name, the talking points will be distributed, and we’ll all be hearing about the new “Porkulus” or “Obamacare” or whatever the fuck childish name they come up with. In three months time, when employment hasn’t picked up because we are actually in the same god damned depression we’ve been in since 2007, Rick Perry can claim that Keynesian ideology has once again been disproven. Because everyone hates the bill, Friedman, Brooks, and other members of the Centrist jihad will claim this as proof that the bill is great.

    Read the whole thing.