Saturday, February 28, 2009

Obama Helicopter Security Breached

Makes you wonder why John McCain brought it up last week.

MSNBC: Employees of Tiversa, a Cranberry Township, Pa.-based security company that specializes in peer-to-peer technology, reportedly found engineering and communications information about Marine One at an IP address in Tehran, Iran.

Bob Boback, CEO of Tiversa, told WPXI-TV: "We found a file containing entire blueprints and avionics package for Marine One, which is the president's helicopter."

Douchebag of the Week: Cliff Kincaid

It was incredibly tempting and I'm still arguing with myself to award the dubious distinction of Broadway Carl's Douchebag of the Week honors to CPAC and the entire body of people who attended or spoke at the event, but in light of the fact that there were soooo many douchenozzles attending, I had to narrow it down.

I couldn't lump in Rush Limbaugh and Ann "Obama is insane for sending troops to Afghanistan" Coulter and Michael "My bad" Steele and the myriad other assholes who said ridiculously asinine things during the weekend; besides, I'm sure they'll have their own week soon enough. But the one person in my mind that stuck out was early on was Cliff Kincaid. Who? This guy.

Douchebag of the Week: Cliff "We are sore losers so we may as well keep perpetuating the lies" Kincaid.

Must Reads

President Obama's Weekly Address - Feb. 28. 2009

Keeping Promises

Friday, February 27, 2009

Is It Patriotic To Pay Taxes?

When then Senator and now Vice President Joe Biden called paying taxes patriotic, it was derided as ridiculous spin on the Obama campaign's tax plan should he win office. Republican opponent John McCain called income tax increases "painful" although those tax increases (to let the Bush tax cuts that had benefited so many of the nation's wealthiest 1% expire) help us in paying for the war of choice that the right continues to tout to this day.

So they want to rid the world of the evildoers, but they don't want to pay for it? And then they use the "we don't want to use our children's and grandchildren's credit cards to pay for this" line to criticize the Obama recovery plan, when we've been using those credit cards and hiding the true cost of the occupation of Iraq all along.

President Obama spoke today at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina to announce his plan to draw down troops for an eventual end to the War in Iraq. But what struck me most about his speech was the idea of sacrifice for country. Standing behind him, I saw the faces of men and women who have sacrificed for their country, not to mention the faces of those who served that we'll never see again, and yet the privileged few complain about paying higher taxes to support those who are defending us.

What would they say if they saw this?

(H/T Matt Osborne)

Say It Ain't So, Piyush

Raise your hand if you guessed that Piyush "Bobby" Jindal's Sheriff Lee and The Katrina Rescue Boats story during his Republican response was a bunch of bullshit. Well, the part that Jindal was there, that is.

...Jindal spokeswoman Melissa Sellers told Smith, "It was days later .. Sheriff Lee was on the phone and the governor came down to visit him. It wasn't that they were standing right down there with the boats."
Jindal was on a foreign trip when Katrina made landfall on Aug 29 ,2005 - he inserted himself into the story for... we'll call it "dramatic purposes." Not a great way to make a your debut as the Republicans' Great Brown Hope.

And now it seems that the Jindal office is trying to revise their revision multiple times. When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging, Piyush.

This just hasn't been the Republicans' week

Cross-posted by Fraulein

Coming hot on the heels of "Bobby" Jindal's spectacularly awful performance in delivering the GOP response to President Obama's recent address to Congress, now we have news that "Joe" the "Plumber"'s recent Washington book signing event was something of a dud:

About 11 people wandered into the rows of seats set up hopefully in the basement of a downtown Border's bookstore to hear Joe speak. Joe addressed them from behind a lectern and with a microphone, but that seemed unnecessarily formal.
Even the Washington Post can't keep the snark in check on this one. Classic:

It's fair to say Joe's appearance at Borders at 18th and L streets wasn't eagerly anticipated. People just kind of shuffled over when Joe strode in with Thomas N. Tabback, the co-author of "Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream." Annie Hickman, a young woman whom Wurzelbacher called "sweetie" during a brief Q&A, was browsing when the PA announced that Joe was in the house. "I'm missing pottery class for this," she said.
You know what I especially love about the rise and fall of this gormless nitwit? The fact that he, like so many other intellectual midgets before him, has been hailed by the Republican party as the embodiment of a "real American." As if those of us who, for example, manage to pay our taxes and speak in coherent sentences, should by all rights pack up and move to France. The irony is breathtaking: this guy is somehow the real thing, according to the right-wingers, yet he goes by a fake name and lied about being a licensed plumber. It's as if there was a Women Who are Proud of Having Real Boobs organization, and they appointed Pamela Anderson as their spokesperson. Makes no sense. Just ain't right.

Luckily for the rest of us, it looks like old "Joe," or Sam, or whatever the hell his actual name is, is about to shuffle off into the obscurity he so richly deserves.

Cross-posted at Purple Ink

Culture Shock - Bachmann Strikes Again

I seriously want to know how stupid the voters are in Michele Bachmann's Minnesota district. Is there some kind of chemical plant in the area poisoning their local water supply? How is it possible that one of the stupidest people on the planet is an elected representative of the United States?

You'd think that she would have disappeared after suggesting that some of her colleagues in Congress were anti-American because of their liberal views, but she actually won her re-election bid. Does her whole district reside under power lines?

Well, never let it be said that Bachmann isn't the conservative goose that lays the racist egg. After RNC Chairman Michael Steele spoke at CPAC yesterday, Bachmann let loose with some words of praise, but in an effort to follow Steele's call for appealing to "urban-suburban hip-hop settings," shouted out "You be da man! You be da man!" Come to think of it, is Bachmann related to the woman in the movie "Airplane" that was able to translate jive?

Steele responded with this.

Speaking of Michael "Bling-Bling" Steele, Stephen Colbert had a challenge for the RNC Chariman last night.

(H/T Bob Cesca)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Republican Response

Matt Lauer Calls Out Rick Santelli On His White House Threat Claim

Santelli: "Well, I'm not saying 'threatening'..."

Really? That's not what you said on G. Gordon Liddy's sorry excuse for a show.

Good for Matt Lauer to call out this moron. And Lauer didn't even mention the fact that the reason Robert Gibbs "called out" Santelli is because he was asked a question about Santelli's specific action!

Q On the foreclosure plan, aside from Rush Limbaugh and that cable rant on the floor of the Exchange, there really does appear to be some --

MR. GIBBS: Chuck's network? (Laughter.)

Q -- there really does appear to be some anger out there from people who just don't believe the President when he said that only people who acted responsibly are going to be helped here. How can you assure people that you're going to reward only people, only homeowners who acted responsibly?
Can this guy please fade back into obscurity now?

Bobby Jindal vs. The Volcanoes

Guest-posted by Fraulein

This guy is super smart. He is, apparently, a Rhodes scholar. I'm sure the folks who award the Rhodes scholarships are feeling extra proud right about now:

In his response to President Obama's address, Jindal said he opposed the stimulus package's inclusion of “$140 million for something called 'volcano monitoring.'”

“Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C,” Jindal said.

While the claim was factually inaccurate (the $140 million will go to the US Geological Survey, of which volcanic research is only a part), scientists are also decrying Jindal's comments as a blast of hot volcanic air.

“Apparently the governor of Louisiana doesn't remember any of the major volcanic eruptions in recent history,” said Mark Brandon, a professor of geology at Yale University who has studied volcanoes around the world. “Volcanic monitoring right now is absolutely essential for protecting lives and property. The amount of money invested compared to the amount of money returned is trivial. It's not just some hobby—if the governor were in a volcanic eruption, he'd realize that the people who do that work are very useful in protecting you from direct hazards.”

Brandon was a student at University of Washington when Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, killing 57 people and destroying hundreds of homes. Many more would almost certainly have died without the volcanic monitoring that allowed authorities to evacuate the population ahead of time.

Morning Joke™ (The Snarky Mika Edition)

Nothing like a little Morning Joke™ to get the blood flowing in the morning.

While ending their interview with Steny Hoyer and the bumper music playing out, here is what transpired:

Joe Scarborough: Hey, Steny we gotta go but I got a question from Twitter here. Somebody e-mailed me and said, "I see the House $410 billion spending bill has 9,000earmarks. It's totally insane. What's wrong with these people?!" Are there really 9,000 earmarks in that bill?

Mika Brzezinski: Please tell me that's not true.

Steny Hoyer: I think that's two and a half times what they're - about 4,000 earmarks for all the members and for 435 districts around the country. Um...

MB: That's kind of a lot, isn't it?

SH: It is a lot, but it's been very substantially reduced - cut in half over the last two ears.

JS: Alright. Very good, Steny...

MB: ...That doesn't make it alright though.

JS: Hey you know, isn't it great following a Republican party that for eight years porked it up, uh, huh, it's uh...

MB: ...Everything's RELATIVE.

JS: ... it's easy to draw a good contrast.

MB: Yeah! Good on ya.

SH: Well, we're in the process of getting back to a place where we were some years ago before the Republicans, as you say, quadrupled the number of earmarks.

MB: Okay, that doesn't make it okay. But alright.

JS: Good to see you.

SH: Making progress.

MB: (laughs) He's honest.
Now, I understand the earmark issue, but if it's obviously that important to Joe and Mika, why not come out and ask Hoyer at an appropriate time in the interview and debate the issue instead of blindsiding him with the excuse of a "tweet"?

Let's also not forget that not all earmarks are bad things. This is how congressional leaders help their individual districts. There might be some waste, but you can't generalize - they should be looked at individually.

This also begs the question - will President Obama send this bill back because of the earmarks?

By the way, Chris Matthews was on the show for an extended period - does he ever sleep?

ADDING... Pat Buchanan learned something on the show today.

"I think that Barack Obama is taking the biggest gamble in American political history, I think he's at his peak I think we learned, and he's headed for real trouble."

To which Joe Scarborough responded: "Buchanan! He's already predicted the downfall of Barack Obama! I'm stunned!"

Me too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This Is The Mentality We're Dealing With - UPDATED

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif.—Keyanus Price, an African American, said she was appalled when she received an e-mail from Mayor Dean Grose's personal account that showed a picture of the White House with a watermelon patch imposed as the White House garden.

...Grose's e-mail included the picture with a heading that read, "No Easter Egg hunt this year."

UPDATE (2/27/09 8:45pm):
AP: LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. (AP) — The mayor of a small Southern California city says he will resign after being criticized for sharing an e-mail picture depicting the White House lawn planted with watermelons under the title "No Easter egg hunt this year."

Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose issued a statement Thursday saying he is sorry and will step down as mayor at Monday's City Council meeting.

Newt Gingrich on Twitter

Gingrich: "Bobby jindal got a good national launch out of last night. His story is compelling.his values appeal to most americans"
Three words: Out. Of. Touch.

Head over to Gingrich's Twitter page for a good laugh.

The Future of the Republican Party? ...Seriously?

Circumstances prevented me from watching President Obama's address to joint Congress live last night. I was about an hour behind so I purposely stayed away from the Internets until I watched the full speech for fear of spoilers. As usual, I was not disappointed in another Obama speech full of The Awesomeness™.

Then I waited with trepidation for the Republican Party response from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, the "rising star" of the GOP and one being touted for a presidential run in 2012. Jindal was on Meet The Press the previous Sunday and although he typically regurgitated Republican talking points, he seemed well put together, able to speak off the cuff and is obviously an intelligent individual. What I witnessed last night however, was a completely different Bobby Jindal. I include the entire speech for those who missed it.

Who is this man and what did they do with Bobby Jindal? Surely, this isn't the rising star with the hopes of the GOP squarely on his shoulders in 2012, is it? ...Really?

His sing-song approach was a little disconcerting - was he trying to sell me a used car recovered from the 9th Ward? I was inadvertently shot back to my youth and half expected Jindal to break into song and take us to the Magic Kingdom where Republicans know what they're talking about, but then I realized there were no hand puppets... at least within camera shot. Or maybe Jindal is a hand puppet...

Then my jaw hit the floor when I heard the following line:

"Today in Washington, some are promising that government will rescue us from the economic storms raging all around us.
Those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina -- we have our doubts."
Wait... did I hear that right? Was Jindal telling us we can't trust government and using the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the incompetence of the Bush administration's rescue efforts as a gauge? Was he telling us, by using Hurricane Fucking Katrina as an example, that citizens have to deal with disaster on their own? And in seemingly the next breath, asking us to trust the Republican Party? Government shouldn't be trusted and that is why the GOP is the correct choice for 2010 - we don't give you hope. With us, you know you'll be fucked from the beginning, so there'll be no surprises!

Then he told us a story about Sheriff Harry Lee and the volunteer rescue boat operation, featuring the evil government bureaucrat who insisted on seeing the insurance and registration for the boats before allowing them to rescue New Orleans' drowning victims. I found this story a little hard to believe until I realized that, yeah, maybe it was true - after all, who was running the government back in 2005? After hearing that story, do you think RNC Chairman Michael Steele was staring blankly at his television in a "What the fuck?" haze? Yeah, me neither. He was probably pumping his fist, Arsenio Hall style, and barking up a storm, thinking this speech was "off the hook!"

But this childish, pathetic excuse for a speech turned sour in my book when Jindal insisted on using the latest GOP talking points of an imaginary "'magnetic levitation' line from Las Vegas to Disneyland," categorized as wasteful spending the replacement of the government fleet of cars, which would create manufacturing jobs to produce the energy efficient cars and reduce our oil dependence, and pointed to "$140 million for something called 'volcano monitoring.'" Well, perhaps down by the bayou, volcano monitoring may be thought of as wasteful spending, but I'm sure citizens of Hawaii and Washington state appreciate it. Had the shoe been on the other foot and a GOP led country was blindsided by a volcano eruption that turned a Hawaiian town into a 21st century Pompeii, they could just pull out the Katrina textbook and say, "Well, no one could have anticipated the eruption of the volcano." Not to mention the fact that Jindal was pointing to 0.00018% of the entire plan, the very thing President Obama warned against in his address to the nation's governors as well as during the Fiscal Responsibility Summit.

So this is what we have to deal with in 2012? We've seen what we're going to get with Sarah "Position Flexible Also" Palin. And the latest Michael Steele Foot in Mouth Disease moment regarding civil unions makes me wonder what the GOP was thinking. But for the time being until this all dies down, Bobby Jindal has to take the gumbo. The Republican Party's sad attempt to show that they're inclusionary and exotic with the choices of Palin, Steele and Jindal as a substitute for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the Oscar winners for Slumdog Millionaire don't mean a thing if their ideology is skewing further right than ever.

Heh. Slumdog Millionaire. Yeah, that's right! I said it.

ADDING... Instant classic!

Palin/Jindal 2012!!

Guest-posted by Fraulein

I'm still gathering my thoughts for a longer post about last night's speech by President Obama, but in the meantime I wanted to parachute in here with a couple of quick thoughts:

1. Did our President kick some Republican ass last night or what? and

2. As far as Bobby Jindal is concerned, I for one was quite impressed with his performance, in that, as a public speaker, he makes Sarah Palin look positively eloquent. If this chicken-fried dipshit represents the best of the Republican party, they are beyond hosed. They are DONE. I can't wait to see this guy run for VP on the ticket with Palin. Go Bobby go!

UPDATE: I figured out who he reminds me of.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What Can Constitute A Court Martial?

Submitted without comment.

23 Feb 2009

To Any and All Interested Parties,

As an active-duty Officer in the United States Army, I have grave concerns about the constitutional eligibilty [sic] of Barack Hussein Obama to hold the Office of President of The United States. He has absolutely refused to provide to the American public his original birth certificate, as well as other documents which may prove or disprove his eligibility. In fact, he has fought every attempt made by concerned citizens in their effort to force him to do so.
Until Mr. Obama releases a "vault copy" of his original birth certificate for public review, I will consider him neither my Commander in Chief nor my President, but rather, a usurper to the Office - an impostor.
My conviction is such that I am compelled to join Dr. Orly Taitz's lawsuit, as a plaintiff, against Mr. Obama. As a citizen, it pains me to do this, but as an Offficer [sic], my sworn oath to support and defend our Constitution requires this action.

I joined the Army at age 40, after working in Iraq as a contractor with KBR in '05/'06. I chose to work with KBR to support my troops and then left that lucrative position when the Army raised it's maximum enlistment age to 40. Upon completion of Basic Training, I entered Officer Candidate School and commissioned as a 2LT in August 2007. After completing the subsequent Basic Officer Leadership courses, I was assigned to Ft. Knox and shortly therafter [sic] deployed to Balad, Iraq. I was promoted to 1LT on Feb. 2, 2009 and I have approximately five months remaining of our fifteen month deployment.

I implore all Service-members and citizens to contact their Senators and Representatives and demand that they require Mr. Obama prove his eligibility. Our Constitution and our great nation must not be allowed to be disgraced.

Very Respectfull[sic],
Scott R. Easterling
United States Army

Why is this still an issue? And if this letter is real, why is an Army officer this ridiculously stupid?

UPDATE (2/25/09 6:50am):

Thanks, Matt Osborne for bringing this to my attention. I found it last night (the impetus for this post) and was originally going to add it, but between President Obama's speech and the Jindal "PBS Children's Special" response, was too flabbergasted and forgot.

§ 888. art. 88. contempt toward officials

"Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the president, the vice president, congress, the secretary of defense, the secretary of a military department, the secretary of homeland security, or the governor or legislature of any state, commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct."

Happy Fat Tuesday!

NOW He Wants To Speak?!

Wasteful spending. That's what I call anyone or any company willing to pay for the "pleasure" of hearing former president George W. Bush speak. (And by "pleasure" I only mean equal to this.)

Think Progress: As the Dallas Morning News reported earlier this month, George W. Bush’s first post-presidency address will be in Canada on March 17. The closed event is being billed as “a conversation with George W. Bush,” during which he will “share his thoughts on his eight momentous years in the Oval Office.”

Ah, yes. Eight momentous years. The Bush Legacy Project continues...

(H/T Oliver Willis)

Morning Joke™ (The Frozen Gonad Edition)

I woke up this morning poised to post something with nothing in mind. So I thought I'd turn on the Farnsworth invention and see what was on Morning Joke™. Surely I could find something within 30 seconds. And I was right.

What the fuck? Iced coffee, anyone? The Morning Joke™ crew is televising live from Washington, D.C. in anticipation of President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress tonight. Did no one tell NBC? They're sitting out in front of the White House freezing their balls off! Doesn't NBC have studios in Washington?!

These imbeciles are sitting on the White House lawn interviewing Senator Chuck Schumer from his remote spot in the warm Capital Building but forcing others like new Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to sit out there like a schmuck giving these guys time with the wind howling, Mika shivering under a blanket and Mike Barnicle about to die from hypothermia. They can barely talk because their faces a frozen stiff.

According to, it's currently 12° with the wind chill factor in D.C. Willie "Scooter" Geist is nowhere to be seen. Maybe he's the smart one after all. Oh wait, there he is on the other side of the White House proving he's just as moronic as the rest of them. At least he didn't disappoint.

Monday, February 23, 2009

President Obama at the White House Fiscal Responsibility Summit

Transcribed live from CNN -

Along with having a good sense of humor, President Obama hit another home run.

When accepting the suggestion that he continue to reach out to the minority and comparing it to the parable of sowing seeds and that his seeds would eventually find fertile soil, the President said, "I will certainly do that because I'm just a glutton for punishment... I'm going to keep talking to Eric Cantor. Someday sooner or later, he's going to say, 'Boy, Obama had a good idea.' It's gonna happen."

And then he closed with this:

"One last point I want to make, just because I think, from the press perspective, I was reading some of the newspapers today and there was a sense that maybe we were doing a 'pivot' because we had just moved forward on the recovery package and now we're talking about fiscal responsibility, how do those two things match up?

I just want to be very clear about this and I've said it to the Governors this morning and I've said it to my staff in the past. We chose to move forward on a recovery package because there was a strong sense among the vast majority of economists that if we did not try to fill a $1 trillion a year hole in demand, because of the drastic pulling back of businesses and consumers, that the recession would get worse, unemployment would increase and as a consequence, tax revenues would go down and the long term deficit and debt projections would be even higher.

That was the basis for the decision. It was not ideologically driven. I have no interest in making government bigger for the sake of it. I've got more than enough on my plate, as Lindsey [Graham] knows, between Afghanistan and Iraq, and issues of terrorism, that if the private sector was just humming along and we could just make government more efficient and not have to worry about this financial crisis, I would love that. But that's not the circumstance we find ourselves in, so I made the best judgement about the need to for us to move forward on a recovery package.

There were some differences, significant differences between the parties about this. I would suggest that if you look at the differences, they amounted to maybe 10, maybe 15 percent of the total package. There wasn't a lot of argument about counter cyclical payments to states to make sure that people had extended unemployment insurance or Food Stamps. There wasn't a lot of disagreement about some of the infrastructure that needs to be repaired. There wasn't a lot of disagreement on the tax cut front. Fifteen, twenty percent of it there was some disagreements about.

But the reason I make this point is that if we're going to be successful moving forward, it's important for us to distinguish between legitimate policy differences and our politics. And the reason there is no contradiction from my perspective in doing the recovery package first but now focusing on the medium and long term is because our hope is that this economy starts recovering - we will have taken a hit in terms of our debt and our deficit, but as Bob Greenstein said, the recovery package will account for about one tenth of one percent of our long term debt, the real problems are the structural deficit and the structural debt we've been accumulating and all of us are complicit in.

So we've gotta get that taken care of. We would have had to get it taken care of whether or not there was a recession. This just underscores the urgency of it and I'm hopeful that we move forward in that spirit in the days and weeks and months to come."

The quote of the day when someone harped that the Democrats in the House were not inclusive of the Republicans in the recovery bill process.

"On the one hand, the majority has to be inclusive. On the other hand, minority needs to be constructive... What you should see, I think, is the majority saying 'What are your ideas?' The minority has got to then come up with those ideas and not just want to blow the thing up."

Bunning Apologizes...

... for is boneheaded remark about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"I apologize if my comments offended Justice Ginsberg," Bunning said. "That certainly was not my intent. It is great to see her back at the Supreme Court today and I hope she recovers quickly. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family."
The Bunning office misspelled her name.

Lost Follower

My current Followers List on the right on the right side of this page boasts 22 followers. It was 23 this morning. Who bailed? Why? Did I offend someone with my last few posts? Do they disagree with me on the forclosure plan so vehemently that they decided to write me off and sever their ties to my blog? Or maybe they were just following too many blogs and I was the odd site out.

The darned thing is that I can't figure out who decided to stop following. The list is right there with names and everything, but if they disappear, I can't tell who left. I guess that's what bugs me the most. Who were you?!

Oh well. Good luck, lost follower. Perhaps we'll meet up again someday.

ADDING... I figured it out! It was a follower who used a Greatful Dead logo for his icon. And I think he had a "43" after his name. Well, whoever you were, I hope you are well.

Crazy GOP Southerners Freaking Out - UPDATED

Looks like the Southern Regional GOP is losing their shit. For years now, these Boss Hoggs sat in their sties as they enjoyed rolling around in their shit. But now that there's a new farmer in the house, they're squealing as they're being led to the election slaughterhouse.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour:

...a Republican, has said he is considering turning down millions of dollars in unemployment aid because it would force his state to raise taxes when the stimulus money runs out by putting in place a tax on employers.

"There is some (money) we will not take in Mississippi. ... We want more jobs. You don't get more jobs by putting an extra tax on creating jobs," Barbour told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.
Maybe if Governor Barbour took the mud out his eyes, he might see that extended unemployment aid might help bridge the time between receiving the aid and developing the jobs. Is he telling us that hey have absolutely no infrastructure to improve in Mississippi? Mississippi?!

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal:

I think the best thing they could've done, for example, was to cut taxes on things like capital gains, the lower tax brackets, to get the private sector spending again.
Uh... how many citizens of Mississippi receive capital gains?

...How does $300 million for federal cars, $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, how is spending like that going to help our economy? How's that stimulus?
Somebody has to make those cars. That equals jobs. It also makes the new hybrid fleet more energy efficient thereby reducing our energy dependence over the long term. NEA spending? I'm sure hundreds of thousands that are employed in the arts, actors, dancers, artists, stage crew employees, designers, non profit public television, and on and on would appreciate the continued employment. Or would you rather have them lose their jobs and homes as well?

You know, now they're talking about spending billions of that to build a train from Disneyland to Las Vegas. There was so much wasteful spending here.
Please show us the provision in the bill for the train from Disneyland to Las Vegas. Go ahead. What page is that on? After watching Jindal on Meet The Press, I heard absolutely nothing new but the same typical Republican talking points that we've heard all along. More tax cuts for businesses, wasted spending in the bill, blah, blah, blah. I'm surprised he didn't go for the "Pelosi's swamp mouse" dig.

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford: Well, we've talked about this guy before.

Republican Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning: (H/T Paddy)

At a Lincoln Day Dinner speech over the weekend, Bunning predicted that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would likely be dead from pancreatic cancer in nine months, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

The paper reports that Bunning reiterated his support of conservative judges, saying “that’s going to be in place very shortly because Ruth Bader Ginsburg…has cancer.”

“Bad cancer. The kind you don’t get better from,” Bunning went on. “Even though she was operated on, usually nine months is the longest that anybody would live after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.”
What a compassionate Christian conservative, that Jim Bunning. Talking about support for conservative judges because Ginsburg is about to kick the bucket? How sweet of him. By the way, Ginsburg went back to work today, 18 days after her surgery.

ADDING... Thanks to commenter Annette who reminded me of this little doozey which prompted me to start this post in the first place, but being so riled up, forgot to add.

Republican Alabama Senator Richard Shelby:

[A] local resident asked Shelby if there was any truth to a rumor that appeared during the presidential campaign concerning Obama’s U.S. citizenship, or lack thereof.

“Well his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven’t seen any birth certificate,” Shelby said. “You have to be born in America to be president.”
Shorter Shelby: When you are a Republican and see your base shrinking as your nose is growing, it never hurts to sling mud and bring up doubts about a Manchurian candidate for rabble rousing purposes. Git yer pitchforks ready!

Since the reporting of Shelby's statement, a spokeman for Shelby has stated that the partial quote attributed to Shelby distorted its meaning.

Johnathan Graffeo: "At the town hall meeting in Cullman, Sen. Shelby laid out the Constitutional qualifications for the Presidency and said that, while he hasn't personally seen the President's birth certificate, he is confident that the matter has been thoroughly examined."

Well that begs the question, if Shelby is confident that the matter was thoroughly examined, why make a statement that sows the seeds of doubt regarding his citizenship? Instead of remarking about President Obama's father and confirming that he personally hasn't seen a birth certificate, Shelby could have said President Obama was born in Hawaii, therefore an American citizen. Period. But he didn't say that so Shelby done brought that shit on hisself. Or perhaps Shelby spokeman Jonathan Graffeo should remind Shelby that Hawaii is a fucking state!

Obama Addressing the Nation's Governors

Transcribed live from MSNBC at 11:05am EST.

President Obama: "There has been some healthy debate over the last few weeks, the last few days about this stimulus package even among the Governors. And I think that's a healthy debate. That keeps me on my toes, it keeps our administration on our toes. But I just want us to not lose perspective of the fact that most of the things that have been the topic of argument over the last several days amount to a fraction of the overall stimulus package. This sometimes gets lost in the cable chatter.

For example, I think there are some very legitimate concerns on the part of some about the sustainability of expanding unemployment insurance. What hasn't been noted is that is $7 billion out of a $787 billion program and it's not even the majority of the expansion of unemployment insurance. So it is possible for those who are concerned about sustaining a change that increases eligibility for part time workers to still see the benefit of $30 billion plus that is going even if you don't make the change.

So I, the reason I make that point is that I want to make sure that we are having an honest debate and presenting to the American people a fulsome accounting of what is going on in this program. When I hear people say, 'Well, there's a lot of waste in this program,' well from my perspective at least, keeping teachers in the classroom is not wasteful. From my perspective, tax cuts to 95% of working families is not wasteful. From my perspective, providing all of you additional resources to rebuild roads and bridges, and levees and dams, that will enhance the quality of life in your state but also make it more economically competitive, that's not wasteful.

And so if we agree on 90% of this stuff and we're spending all our time on television arguing about one, two, three percent of the spending in this thing, and somehow it's being characterized in broad brushes, wasteful spending, that starts sounding more like politics, and that's what right now we don't have time to do.

So, I will always be open to honest disagreements and I think there are some legitimate concerns that can be raised on a whole host of these issues, and you're responsible at the state level. And if the federal government gives you something now, and then two years later it's gone and people are looking to you and starting to blame you - I don't want to put you in that position - and so you need to think about how this money is going to be spent wisely. What I don't want us to do though, it to just get caught up in the same old stuff that inhibits us from acting effectively and in concert. There's going to be ample time for campaigns down the road. Right now we've got to make sure we're standing up for the American people and putting them back to work."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Real Deficit

Ever wonder why no one made a big stink on the television invention about the vast amounts of money being used for Iraq and Afghanistan but wasn't included in the budget? George W. Bush would call it "emergency funding" or a "war supplemental" bill. They'd allocate billions and billions of dollars to the war on terror but not really show it on their balance sheets. They essentially had two sets of books. Well not anymore.

For his first annual budget next week, President Obama has banned four accounting gimmicks that President George W. Bush used to make deficit projections look smaller. The price of more honest bookkeeping: A budget that is $2.7 trillion deeper in the red over the next decade than it would otherwise appear, according to administration officials.

The new accounting involves spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Medicare reimbursements to physicians and the cost of disaster responses.

But the biggest adjustment will deal with revenues from the alternative minimum tax, a parallel tax system enacted in 1969 to prevent the wealthy from using tax shelters to avoid paying any income tax.

...Mr. Obama’s banishment of the gimmicks, which have been widely criticized, is in keeping with his promise to run a more transparent government.

Fiscal sleight of hand has long been a staple of federal budgets, giving rise to phrases like “rosy scenario” and “magic asterisks.”

The $2.7 trillion in additional deficit spending, Mr. Orszag said, is “a huge amount of money that would just be kind of a magic asterisk in previous budgets.”

“The president prefers to tell the truth,” he said, “rather than make the numbers look better by pretending.”

Music Break! David Oistrakh

Debussy's Clair de Lune