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Archive for June 28th, 2011

Late, Late Night FDL: Cruisin’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Late, Late Night FDL: Cruisin’
Smokey Robinson – Cruisin’

Smokey Robinson – Cruisin’

It’s been awhile since I’ve played some Motown…!

What’s on your mind tonite…?

Legal “Scholar”
Google is your friend…but not if you are a “non-partisan” yet “partisan” blogger desperate to make some meaningless point.

illustration by dimmerswitch at flickr.com

Ann Althouse is more than just a unending source of material for Thers.  She is, rather inconceivably, a Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin. According to the University’s website she teaches Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure in Madison, the State’s Capitol, literally blocks away from the State’s Supreme Court.

She’s “taught” at the University for nearly 15 years.

Yet when the matter of State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser placing his manly hands around fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley’s womanly neck, Althouse found a novel way to defend the conservative from this vile assault upon his hands by a woman’s neck:

“From what I have heard, Bradley is significantly larger than Prosser.”

To which Wisconsin blogger Illusory Tenant reasonably asks,

What, she’s never even seen them?

It’s strange that Althouse, who allegedly professes the law in Madison, Wisconsin, has not attended a hearing at the State Supreme Court, which also sits in Madison (just a brief sashay down State St. in fact).

She’s only been a Law Professor in Madison for 15 years, how could she possible know what the State Supreme Court members look like?

Just look at this picture, Ann Walsh Bradley is clearly a well-known bruiser of epic proportions.  Crack research as always Althouse.

Although Althouse does know some judges well — those on American Idol.

For Want of a Compromise

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

For Want of a Compromise

By RJ Matson, Cagle Cartoons, Roll Call

Mr. Fish's Cartoon

Related Entries

WATCH: Your Day In Politics News

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

WATCH: Your Day In Politics News
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) formally declared her candidacy for president of the United States on Monday. Lawmakers in Washington are still working to negotiate a…

George Ryan’s Wife Reportedly In ‘Grave’ Condition
CHICAGO — An attorney for imprisoned ex-Illinois Gov. George Ryan says Ryan’s wife is in “grave” condition at a Kankakee hospital. Ryan’s lawyer, former Gov….

Chris Weigant: Bachmann Rising, Palin Fading?
The problem for Palin is that both she and Bachmann are favorites of an almost-identical slice of the Republican electorate. Which creates somewhat of a zero-sum game between the two: as one gains support, the other is bound to lose support.

Neal Boortz Uses Mythology To Say The Bush Tax Cuts “Worked”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Neal Boortz Uses Mythology To Say The Bush Tax Cuts “Worked”

Writing in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, syndicated radio host Neal Boortz perpetuated the myth that tax cuts increase revenue to bolster his argument that the Bush tax cuts “worked.” Economists have said the Bush tax cuts reduced revenue and had little positive impact on the economy.

Boortz: The Bush Tax Cuts “Worked” And “Revenues Increased”

Boortz Argued That The Bush Tax Cuts “Worked” And “Tax Revenues Increased.” Arguing that the Bush tax cuts “worked,” Neal Boortz wrote:

Here’s something else you might not remember about the Bush tax cuts. Congress thought it would be a good idea to phase these tax cuts in over several years. Didn’t work. The economy continued to shed jobs, so the Congress decided to let the tax cuts take effect immediately, and threw in a cut in capital gains and dividends to boot. It worked. Eight million jobs were created and tax revenues increased.

Did you catch that? Tax revenues increased after a tax cut. Democrats just hate this, but increased revenues are the norm after tax cuts. Why? Because tax cuts spur economic growth. The CBO said that the Bush tax cuts would lower 2006 revenues by $75 billion. Oops! Wrong again! Revenues actually increased by $47 billion. What about jobs? In the 18 months before the Bush tax cuts our economy lost 267,000 jobs. In the 18 months following the cuts it added over 300,000 jobs. In the next 19 months another 5 million jobs were added. [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 6/24/11]

Economists: Bush Tax Cuts Reduced Revenue And Did Not Spur Economic Growth

CBPP: Bush Tax Cuts Cost $1.7 Trillion In Reduced Revenue. From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

Bush-era tax cuts — Through 2011, the estimated impacts come from adding up past estimates of various changes in tax laws — chiefly the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (JGTRRA), the 2008 stimulus package, and a series of annual AMT patches — enacted since 2001. Those estimates were based on the economic and technical assumptions used when CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) originally “scored” the legislation, but the numbers would not change materially using up-to-date assumptions. Most of the Bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire after December 2010 (partway through fiscal 2011). We added the cost of extending them, along with continuing AMT relief, from estimates prepared by CBO and JCT.[23] (We did not assume extension of the temporary tax provisions enacted in ARRA.) Together, the tax cuts account for $1.7 trillion in extra deficits in 2001 through 2008, and $3.4 trillion over the 2009-2019 period. Finally, we added the extra debt-service costs caused by the Bush-era tax cuts, amounting to more than $200 billion through 2008 and another $1.7 trillion over the 2009-2019 period — over $330 billion in 2019 alone. [The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 6/28/10]

CBO: Extending The Bush Tax Cuts Would Increase Deficits By $2.6 Trillion Over 10 Years. In January 2010, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that extending the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 would increase deficits by $2.6 trillion between 2011-2020. [Congressional Budget Office, January 2010]

Krugman: Extending The Bush Tax Cuts Would Reduce Revenue By $4 Trillion. Nobel laureate and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, opposing efforts to extend the Bush tax cuts, wrote:

We’re talking about almost $4 trillion in lost revenue just over the next decade; over the next 75 years, the revenue loss would be more than three times the entire projected Social Security shortfall. So giving in to Republican demands would mean risking a major fiscal crisis — a crisis that could be resolved only by making savage cuts in federal spending.

And we’re not talking about government programs nobody cares about: the only way to cut spending enough to pay for the Bush tax cuts in the long run would be to dismantle large parts of Social Security and Medicare. [The New York Times, 12/5/10]

Gale: “The Bush Tax Cuts Would Account For A Significant Chunk Of” Projected Deficits. William Gale, a Brookings Institution senior fellow and co-director of the Tax Policy Center, wrote:

The deficits we face over the next decade reflect a fundamental imbalance between spending and revenue, one that goes beyond entitlements. Based on projections by the CBO, Alan Auerbach of the University of California at Berkeley and myself, among others, even if the economy returns to full employment by 2014 and stays there for the rest of the decade, the continuation of current fiscal policies, including the Bush tax cuts, would lead to a national debt in the range of 90 percent of GDP by 2020. That’s already the highest rate since just after World War II — and Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security aren’t expected to hit their steepest spending increases until after 2020.

According to these same projections, the yearly deficit would rise to 6 to 7 percent of GDP by 2020. The Bush tax cuts would account for a significant chunk of this, considering that in each year they are in effect, the revenue lost because of them amounts to nearly 2 percent of GDP.

Compounding the problem: By increasing the government’s debt, the tax cuts have already led to higher interest payments on that debt. So even if all of the cuts expire on Dec. 31, we will still be paying for them for years to come. [Washington Post, 8/1/10]

FactCheck.Org: Revenue Would Have Been Higher Without Bush Tax Cuts. FactCheck.org concluded on June 11, 2007, that “it is clear” the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 “did not ‘increase revenues'” as Sen. John McCain had claimed. The post further stated:

The Congressional Budget Office, the Treasury Department, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers and a former Bush administration economist all say that tax cuts lead to revenues that are lower than they otherwise would have been — even if they spur some economic growth. [FactCheck.org, 6/11/07]

Former Bush Economist: “[N]o Dispute Among Economists” That Bush Tax Cuts Reduced Revenue. The Washington Post reported on October 17, 2006:

“Federal revenue is lower today than it would have been without the tax cuts. There’s really no dispute among economists about that,” said Alan D. Viard, a former Bush White House economist now at the nonpartisan American Enterprise Institute. “It’s logically possible” that a tax cut could spur sufficient economic growth to pay for itself, Viard said. “But there’s no evidence that these tax cuts would come anywhere close to that.” [The Washington Post, 10/17/06]

Thoma: The Evidence Is “Not Favorable” That The Bush Tax Cuts Led To Economic Growth. Mark Thoma, an economist at the University of Oregon, wrote:

For example, according to this Census report (see table A1), median household income in 2007, adjusted for inflation, was lower than it was in 2000. And as the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports, based upon data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth was particularly weak, “with employment and wage and salary growth … lower than in any previous post-World War II expansion. Employment grew at an average annual rate of only 0.9 percent from November 2001 to September 2007, as compared with an average of 2.5 percent for the comparable periods of other post-World War II expansions. In addition, real wages and salaries grew at a 1.8 percent average annual rate in the 2001-2007 expansion, as compared with a 3.8 percent average annual rate for the comparable periods of other post-World War II expansions.”

Thus, there is little evidence to support that the Bush tax cuts had a significant effect on growth.  In addition, contrary to the argument that the tax cuts would pay for themselves being made at the time the tax cuts were enacted, the deficit ballooned as a result of the tax cuts. [MoneyWatch.com, 11/30/10]

Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Presented By:

Thrice Married Newt Gingrich Says Gays ‘Muddle’ Marriage
Newt Gingrich, who is married to his third wife, said this weekend that the U.S. was “drifting towards a terrible muddle” by not limiting marriage to members of the opposite sex, Reuters reported….

‘Most Restrictive’ Voter ID Law In The Country Loses Support Of Republican Secretary Of State
The Ohio state Senate will consider this week what critics are calling the most restrictive voter identification law in the country. The push for restrictive voter id measures in the Buckeye state is part of a trend of similar legislation sweeping Republican-controlled legislatures across the country.

Will Mark Kelly Run?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Will Mark Kelly Run?
The Fix takes a deeper look at rumors that Mark Kelly, the husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), might run for office in Arizona and examines the different options available to the Gulf War veteran and retired astronaut.

State legislature: “If Kelly wanted to run for state legislature…he would need to prove Arizona residency for the past three years. Kelly and Giffords are currently living near Houston, Texas, where the congresswoman is going through rehabilitation therapy.”

Giffords’ seat: “That seat could change under redistricting — an independent commission draws the lines, so anything could happen. But the commission did not do much to hurt incumbents last time around, so Giffords has a good chance of keeping her district relatively intact. That district is very competitive, with Giffords winning reelection by less than one percent in 2010. But the couple’s inspiring story, along with Kelly’s non-political background, could only help in 2012.”

U.S. Senate: “Giffords was considered the favorite in that open-seat contest before the shooting that put her in the hospital for five months; in her absence, no new contender has stepped up… That race would be more difficult for a political neophyte. The likely GOP nominee is well-known Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who?announced his candidacy back in February and has been fundraising ever since. As of April, he had $1.5 million on hand.”

Majority of New Yorkers Support New Law
A new Quinnipiac pol in New York finds that 54% of the state’s voters back the new law allowing same sex marriage, including 70% of voters under 35.

The Reverse Revolving Door
While much attention is paid to the vast sums of money made by government employees who move to lobbying and consulting firms in the private sector, a new analysis by The Hill reveals the extent to which lobbyists who come to work on Capitol Hill take steep pay cuts to do so.

“The ex-lobbyists who went to work in the House earned, on average, more than $238,000 per year while working on K Street. Those same lobbyists are on pace to make more than $144,000 per year, on average, in the House, which equals an average pay cut of about $94,000. Ex-lobbyists who went to work in the Senate last year were earning more than $309,000, on average, in their old jobs, according to financial disclosure forms. They are on pace to take in an average of more than $160,000 as a staffer, for an average pay cut of more than $149,000.”

Quote of the Day
“I sure hope that no one breaks into my office this time.”

— Former Sen. George McGovern, quoted by the Washington Post, on his law firm moving to the Watergate.

AARP Tells Members They Won’t Fight Social Security Benefit Cuts

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

AARP Tells Members They Won’t Fight Social Security Benefit Cuts
The front page of today’s Wall Street Journal features an article [Key Seniors Association Pivots on Benefit Cut] reporting that AARP “is dropping its longstanding opposition to cutting Social Security benefits.”? The piece is based on a conversation with AARP…

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Michele With One ?L?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Michele With One ?L?
Say what you will about Michele Bachmann, but she’s got the best Get-Up Kids Song about her of any candidate in the GOP field.

Say what you will about Michele Bachmann, but she’s got the best Get-Up Kids Song about her of any candidate in the GOP field.

Republicans press Obama to recall ambassador to Syria

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Republicans press Obama to recall ambassador to Syria

Republicans are intensifying pressure on the Obama administration to recall its ambassador to Syria, arguing that the U.S. policy of engagement has done nothing to stop President Bashar al-Assad’s government from cracking down on protesters.

On Monday, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, became the latest Republican to call for Ambassador Robert Ford to come home. Sens. John Thune (S.D.) and Jon Kyl (Ariz.) have also said that Ford should be recalled.

Read full article >>

Gay-marriage advocates in Md. urge O’Malley to step up role

With New York’s embrace of same-sex marriage last week, advocates of gay nuptials in Maryland are pressing Gov. Martin O’Malley to play a more vigorous role as state lawmakers prepare to push the issue again.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, another Democrat whose national profile is on the rise, is widely credited with getting a bill through his divided legislature with a well-funded lobbying campaign to persuade conflicted lawmakers.

In Maryland, O’Malley supported a similar measure that fell short during this year’s legislative session but, unlike Cuomo, largely limited his advocacy to private conversations.

Read full article >>

Which Petraeus will arrive at the CIA: The officer or the gentleman?

When David H. Petraeus arrives in September at the CIA’s Langley headquarters, what sort of man will show up to become the intelligence agency’s 20th director, the fourth in the last seven years?

At last week’s Senate confirmation hearing, Petraeus was a uniformed, be-ribboned four-star general whom Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) described as a “kind of a superstar on the military and intellectual force side.” A man who when asked by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence pre-hearing questionnaire to list honors and awards — including “military decorations, civilian service citations or any other special recognition for outstanding performance or achievement” — referenced 43 medals, 10 badges and 42 awards.

Read full article >>

Obama Says Everything — and Nothing

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2011 4:33 am by HL

Obama Says Everything — and Nothing
Joseph Curl, Washington Times
What on Earth is President Obama talking about? The short answer is everything – and nothing.The most cerebral president in America’s history – yes, much smarter than Madison, Jefferson, Adams, any of the Founding Fathers, to hear the mainstream media gush – is suddenly sounding like a community college dropout.

New York-Style Marriage
James Antle, The American Spectator
After days of being just one vote away, the New York statelegislature passed a bill late Friday night allowing marriagelicenses to be issued to same-sex couples. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signedthe measure into law, prompting Philip Klein to quip,”So a lot has changed since [the] current NY governor's dad ran the 'Vote for Cuomo Not the Homo' campaign.A lot has changed indeed. As recently as the 1990s, the beliefthat marriage was anything but a union between a man and a womanwas a fringe position. A huge bipartisan congressional majoritypassed and Democratic President Bill Clinton…

No Way to Use America’s Oil Stockpile