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Archive for May 12th, 2011

Late Late Night FDL: Harp Rumble

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 12th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Harp Rumble
Asylum Street SpankersHarp Rumble.

Asylum Street SpankersHarp Rumble.

What’s on your mind?

150 Years later, the Republicans surrender to the Confederacy
Republicans officially declare the Confederacy deserved a chance to win.

THE WINNER — from moosevlt at flickr.com

All this messy business of Civil War could have been avoided.

A group of Republicans in the House and Senate are proposing an amendment to the Constitution that would allow a vote by two-thirds of the states’ legislatures to override any federal law they did not agree with.

The proposed constitutional amendment, a tea party favorite, is being touted by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) in the Senate and co-sponsored by Sens. John Barasso (R-WY) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT). In the House, Reps. Rob Bishop (R-UT), Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Paul Broun (R-GA) are leading the charge.

Oh, sure there may still be slavery, but from their perspective, Obama wouldn’t be President.

A two-thirds vote of the States is, of course, already one means of bringing about a Constitutional Convention, but why do that when the Kochs can buy off a state legislature for less money?

It never fails to gnaw at me how much the GOP claims to love the Constitution, so much, in fact, that they constantly endeavor to change it.


Truthdig Radio: How the U.S. Co-Opted Human Rights

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 12th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Truthdig Radio: How the U.S. Co-Opted Human Rights
On this week’s show we hear from Reagan Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb on our imperial military budget, and James Peck tells us how the U.S. co-opted human rights. And we send Reese Erlich to Cuba to find out how Raul Castro’s economic reforms are affecting the island’s world-famous music scene.

On this week’s show we hear from Reagan Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb on our imperial military budget, and James Peck tells us how the U.S. co-opted human rights. And we send Reese Erlich to Cuba to find out how Raul Castro’s economic reforms are affecting the island’s world-famous music scene.


Related Entries



Chris Weigant: The Full 2012 Republican Field

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 12th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Chris Weigant: The Full 2012 Republican Field
Because I’m trying to include simply everybody, this will necessarily have to be a very wide (and not very deep) look at all the possible candidates.

Shahed Amanullah: Serving the Public While Riding a Segway
In 2007, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Omar Ahmad had decided to take a stab at politics after working at a string of successful high-tech startups and…

William Bradley: In the Shadow of bin Laden: The California Connection
Between Leon Panetta’s experience in cutting costs as Clinton’s federal budget director and the striking success of William McRaven’s counter-terrorist bin Laden mission, maybe this duo can help get us on a different track.

Obama Administration Pushing For Homeowner Fund While State Officials Try To Levy Fines In Ongoing Mortgage Probes
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is pushing for the creation of a federal account funded by the nation’s 14 largest mortgage firms to help distressed…


Fox Business Host Falsely Claims Baby Boomers Will “Bankrupt” Social Security “In A Couple Of Months”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 12th, 2011 4:34 am by HL

Fox Business Host Falsely Claims Baby Boomers Will “Bankrupt” Social Security “In A Couple Of Months”

Fox Business host Andrew Napolitano falsely claimed that the retirement rate of baby boomers is “going to bankrupt the [Social Security] system in a couple of months.” In fact, the level of Social Security revenues and benefits were specifically modified in 1983 to account for baby boomers’ retirements, and the program is projected to remain completely solvent and pay full benefits until 2037.

Napolitano: Boomer Retirements Will “Bankrupt” Social Security

REP. JEFF FLAKE (R-AZ): I think people understand that, you know, in 1950, there were about 16.5 workers for every retiree. Now there are just less than three. And you can’t continue to provide entitlement programs like that.

NAPOLITANO: And 10,000 baby boomers retire and join Social Security every day of the week. I mean, that’s going to bankrupt the system in a couple of months at that rate.

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R-UT): Well, we need to live up to the obligations for older Americans. But for younger generations, we need to change the equation based on a longevity index and those types of things. You can do that. [Fox Business, Freedom Watch, 5/10/11]

Social Security Is Projected To Be Fully Funded Until 2037

Strengthen Social Security: “Social Security Can Pay 100% Of Promised Benefits For The Next 25 Years.” From “Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security,” by Strengthen Social Security:

Is Social Security going bankrupt?

Social Security will never go bankrupt. Its major source of income comes from the contributions of workers and employers; as long as there are workers, Social Security will have income.  Even if Congress took no action, Social Security can pay 100% of promised benefits for the next 25 years and more than three-quarters of benefits after that. Around 2037 there is a modest funding gap requiring modest increases in revenues to guarantee everyone 100% of promised benefits. Social Security has faced far worse financial problems in the past, but Congress has never failed to act to ensure full funding of benefits. [Strengthen Social Security, accessed 5/11/11]

CBPP: 1983 Reforms Designed “To Help Pre-Fund Some Of The Costs Of The Baby Boomers’ Retirement.” Paul Van de Water of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities wrote:

Social Security has run a surplus in every year since 1984, as was anticipated when Congress enacted and President Reagan signed the legislation based on the recommendations of the Greenspan Commission in 1983. The authors of the 1983 legislation purposely designed program financing in this manner to help pre-fund some of the costs of the baby boomers’ retirement. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 10/5/10]


VA GOPer Convicted Of Selling Vote To Get Side Gig At State University

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 12th, 2011 4:34 am by HL

VA GOPer Convicted Of Selling Vote To Get Side Gig At State University
Phillip A. Hamilton, a former Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates accused of leveraging his office and power over the budget of Old Dominion University to set up a side gig at the school, was convicted Wednesday on…

State Dept. IG: Diplomats In Athens, Greece Don’t Need A Vacation Bonus
Diplomats in Athens, Malta and Hong Kong might soon have to say sayonara to the rest and relaxation benefits they were getting for enduring hardship postings thanks to a State Department Inspector General report which found the conditions at those locations no longer justified the benefit.

Federal Judge Blocks Utah’s Immigration Enforcement Law
After being in effect for less than 15 hours, Utah’s Arizona-style immigration enforcement law was temporarily blocked by a federal judge, pending a decision in a class-action lawsuit brought by civil rights groups.



Life & Death: Corporate personhood & old folks homes in South Berkeley

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 12th, 2011 4:33 am by HL

Life & Death: Corporate personhood & old folks homes in South Berkeley
One thing that I’ve been noticing recently is that there are a large number of “assisted living facilities” operating in South Berkeley right now. Fascinated by the concept of why so many of them have located in this particular section of my home town, I decided to investigate. “How come there are so many rest homes […]


All Eyes on Cheri Daniels

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 12th, 2011 4:33 am by HL

All Eyes on Cheri Daniels
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels wife, Cheri, will make a keynote appearance at the state GOP’s spring dinner tonight and “is generating buzz — and more than a few TV satellite trucks — for a simple reason: Party leaders see her as the main hurdle to Mr. Daniels’s entry in the 2012 presidential race, a move many top Republicans hope the governor will make,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The governor insists his wife has no plans to break news… But the mere fact that she’s addressing the state’s GOP faithful is stirring speculation that Mr. Daniels, a former aide to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, is gearing up for a 2012 bid. He says he will decide within weeks.”


5 Professional Tea Partiers: Who’s Sucking the Most Money From the Movement?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 12th, 2011 4:33 am by HL

5 Professional Tea Partiers: Who’s Sucking the Most Money From the Movement?
These five Tea Party leaders are nicely compensated for leading the allegedly leaderless movement.


High Alert Globally at US Military Installations

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 12th, 2011 4:33 am by HL

High Alert Globally at US Military Installations
Military sources have told me that Osama bin Laden was killed about one week ago in a drone strike. This seems to be something some are raising doubts about — but both stories are out. (President Obama has just indicated…


Job Creation the Old Economic Textbook Way: Reducing the Value of the Dollar
In the wake of the recession brought on by the collapse of the housing bubble many people have called for a new economics. There are certainly grounds for arguing that we need a new economics, but the bigger problem is…


Rand Paul: If You Believe In A Right To Health Care, ?You Believe In Slavery?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 12th, 2011 4:32 am by HL

Rand Paul: If You Believe In A Right To Health Care, ?You Believe In Slavery?

Conservatives have slung all kinds of hyperbolic, outlandish, and phony attacks on attempts to provide health care to all Americans over the years, but tea party darling Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) may have taken the cake today when he equated universal health care with slavery. Speaking at a Senate Health, Education, and Labor Committee hearing, Paul argued that if you believe people should have a right to health care, you believe in enslaving doctors, nurses, and hospital janitors:

PAUL: With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses.

Basically, once you imply a belief in a right to someone’s services — do you have a right to plumbing? Do you have a right to water? Do you have right to food? — you’re basically saying you believe in slavery.

I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to health care. You have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be.

Watch it:

Setting aside Paul’s healthy police state fever dream, by Paul’s logic, the Pope supports slavery. In November, the pontiff called health care one of the “inalienable rights” of man and said, “Justice in health care should be a priority of governments and international institutions.”

Paul is himself a (dubiously accredited) doctor, as he mentions. But while he bitterly condemns government spending, he’s also complained about the government cutting payments to doctors like him. Perhaps that’s a form of slavery too.

Haley Barbour To Flood-Stricken Mississippians: You?re On Your Own

In the past week, the Mississippi Delta has been hit hard by flooding in the Mississippi River. The rising water wiped out crops, forced families out of their homes, and caused river-front casinos to shut down, costing the government up to $13 million a month. The Associated Press reported that the damage in Memphis was estimated at $320 million, but that “the worst is yet to come, with the crest expected over the next few days.”

Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) –- instead of pledging to do everything possible to help the people of his state deal with the flood -– called for the federal government to declare a flooding disaster, moved his furniture out of his lake house, and told flood-stricken families to rely on their friends to get to higher ground because the state wouldn’t help:

As the water rose, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour moved furniture out of his lake house outside Vicksburg on family land that was inundated during the 1927 flood. A week ago, he urged residents to flee low-lying areas, saying that the state wouldn’t assist the evacuations and that people should help one another secure their property and get out.

With Barbour’s staunch opposition to efforts to reduce climate pollution — which is driving the extreme flooding — it’s probably a good thing for America that he took his hat out of the ring for the presidency late last month.

Cross-posted on the Wonk Room.