Thanks For Nothing (Bipartisan Bullshittery Edition)

by matttbastard

So, after having “cut some stuff just to say that they had cut some stuff” from President Obama’s recovery plan, as publius aptly summed up last night’s contentious-yet-self-congratulatory bipartisan circle jerk, what exactly are we (the people) left with?

Paul Krugman:

[T]he centrists have shaved off $86 billion in spending — much of it among the most effective and most needed parts of the plan. In particular, aid to state governments, which are in desperate straits, is both fast — because it prevents spending cuts rather than having to start up new projects — and effective, because it would in fact be spent; plus state and local governments are cutting back on essentials, so the social value of this spending would be high. But in the name of mighty centrism, $40 billion of that aid has been cut out.

My first cut says that the changes to the Senate bill will ensure that we have at least 600,000 fewer Americans employed over the next two years.

Heck of a motherfucking job, kiddies.

h/t Joe Trippi via Twitter

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U.S. Senate Reaches Tenative Deal on Recovery Package. Yay?

by matttbastard

Oh, joy — ‘moderation’ once again rules the day in Washington:

U.S. senators began debate on a massive economic-recovery package Friday evening, after a working coalition of Democrats and some Republicans reached a compromise that trimmed billions in spending from an earlier version.

[…]

The movement came after days of private meetings between centrist Democrats and Republicans who felt the price tag on the Senate’s nearly $900 billion version of the package was too much.

“There is a winner tonight,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut and one of the moderates whose support was crucial in building support for the plan. “It’s the American people and they deserve it.”

[…]

Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat from Nebraska and one of the chief negotiators of the plan, said senators had trimmed the plan to $827 billion in tax cuts and spending on infrastructure, housing and other programs that would create or save jobs.

“We trimmed the fat, fried the bacon and milked the sacred cows,” Nelson said as debate began.

But, as John Nichols points out:

[I]n order to get two Republican votes (those of Susan Collins of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania) that were needed to break a threatened GOP filibuster, [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid surrendered an estimated $110 billion is proposed stimulus spending. In doing so, they cut not just fat but bone.

Fat, bone and taxes–Nichols reports that tax cuts now account for “40 percent of the overall cost of the package,” a counterproductive conciliatory gesture that Nichols warns “will do little or nothing to stimulate job creation for a country than lost almost 600,000 positions in January alone.”

Just how much bone was shaved off to prevent a (potential!) GOP filibuster?

The bottom line is that, under the Senate plan:

* States will get less aid.

* Schools will get less help.

* Job creation programs will be less well funded.

* Preparations to combat potential public health disasters — which could put the final nail in the economy’s coffin — will not be made.

In every sense, the Senate plan moves in the wrong direction.

At a time when smart economists are saying that a bigger, bolder stimulus plan is needed, Senate Democrats and a few moderate Republicans have agreed to a smaller, weaker initiative.

Something may indeed be better than nothing, and politics is nothing if not the art of the compromise, but, like Nichols, I’m finding it difficult to join in on the bipartisan fetish party. As President Obama aptly put it this past Thursday while rhetorically addressing “critics who complain ” “this is not a stimulus bill, this is a spending bill,’ What do you think a stimulus is [emph. mine]? That’s the whole point. No, seriously, that’s the point.””

Well, apparently the President’s point was a bit too fine for the “moderates” in the Senate to fully appreciate. Perhaps Steven Pearlstein’s modest proposal to provide lawmakers with “economic personal trainers” should be seriously considered when the freshly-‘moderated’ recovery plan finally makes it to conference committee.

Related: Congressional Quarterly runs down the various amendments that were voted on throughout Friday evening. My personal favourite: David Vitter’s ultimately unsuccessful attempt to keep funds away from those evil Marxists in ACORN (SHRIEK!)

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Spot the Logical Fallacy (Or, How Colin Powell Stopped Being Every White Conservative’s Token Non-Threatening Black Friend)

by matttbastard

I’ve never heard of this Gordon Campbell asshat before today, and, judging by his totally satirical depiction of Colin Powell as Benedict Arnold in blackface, that is something to be thankful for.

Quoth Mr. Campbell:

“No sane person would question his patriotism toward the United States or even the Constitution and the principles of democracy… .  But his support of such things as affirmative action and Roe v. Wade placed him too left of center for the bulk of the GOP electorate… .

“”The only reasonable explanation for such a public political “about-face” in the midst of this important election is that Colin Powell, perhaps understandably, wishes to see someone who looks like himself in the White House… .

“It’s my opinion that General Powell has based his endorsement of Barack Obama on the color of his skin, not his qualifications, his experience or the content of his character.”

Just so we’re clear, Campbell freely admits that Powell’s “support of such things as affirmative action and Roe v. Wade placed him too left of center for the bulk of the GOP electorate”.  Indeed,  John McCain has stated that he supports neither affirmative action nor Roe v. Wade, and his running mate, in addition to supporting the overturning of Roe, opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest.  Yet, for some reason, rather than putting two and two together (ie, Powell, much like McCain-supporting dissident Democrat-turned-Independent Joe Lieberman, chose to endorse the candidate who he believes best represents his ideals, regardless of partisan affiliation), this observation instead inexplicably leads Campbell to conclude that “[t]he only [emphasis mine] reasonable explanation for such a public about-face…is that Powell…wishes to see someone who looks like himself [ie, a fellow neeegro] in the White House”.

Which, in turn, forces yours truly to surmise that the only reasonable explanation for Campbell’s painfully contorted reasoning (to say nothing of the FRICKIN’ BLACKFACE CARTOON–SWEET BABY JESUS!) is that he’s a cross-burning, sheet-wearing bag of racist douche who vigorously masturbates to Mein Kampf every night before bed.  One would have to be insane (or, at the very least, unreasonable) to conclude otherwise.  There is no alternative.

h/t Paul the Spud @ Shakesville

Related: More Powell-inspired Party of Lincoln outreach to teh black community from George Will, Pat Buchanan, and RedState (h/t Think Progress).  Also see Renee, who asks an obvious question: “Why is it that whites who have been voting for white people since the US became a country were not engaging in racial solidarity voting, and a black man endorsing another black man is?

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Sweet Tap-Dancing Jesus.

by matttbastard

At what point are we going to say “enough is enough” and do something about all the abuse being heaped upon parody’s decaying corpse?

I mean, really–one can’t expect SNL to ever top this:

(h/t Jed for the video)

In the spirit of, ahem, bipartisan comity (h/t Joe “Benedict” Lieberman), I’d like to extend a sincere and heartfelt thank you to America’s Mayor™, Rudy Giuliani, for going off-script and overlong with his opportune (if disturbingly vicious) red meat feeding frenzy of a stemwinder.

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JewsOnFirst.org Pwns Pastor John Hagee; Greenwald Nails Joe Lieberman

by matttbastard

(Christian) Zionism: yr doin it wrong:

I’m with Glenn: Serious Centrist™ Joe Lieberman is totally getting a whiteboy pass from the media for appearing at an event sponsored by this anti-Semitic extremist.

h/t Hamsher @ FDL

Background: More on double-standards and Pastor Hagee:

Yes, Virginia, People Actually Get Paid For This Horseshit

The Rules: Hagee Rewind

The Rules: John Hagee on an Anti-Semitic Remix Tip

CNN: McCain Officially Rejects Hagee Endorsement

Pastor John Hagee: “The Antichrist is a dispatch deep from the recesses of my id!” and other NOOZ!

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“Independent Democrats” for McCain

by matttbastard

Following on the heels of the shocking (SHOCKING!) news that Holy Joe has been advising an anti-Obama swiftboat 527, the Washington Independent brings us word of more independent Joementum for McCain:

Citizens for McCain is an organization within the McCain campaign for people who put country before political party and support the candidate for President who has a proven record of bipartisanship.

As you know, I caucus with the Democrats as a United States Senator and was the Democrat [sic] Party’s nominee for Vice-President of the United States against President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

But first and foremost, I am an American. I have an obligation to do what I think is best for our nation regardless of political party. My love for this country and strong belief in John McCain’s character, judgment, and willingness to work with leaders of both parties has convinced me to support him for President.

I have worked with John McCain for many years in the U.S. Senate and know from experience that he can unite Democrats, Republicans and Independents like no one else in this country. He did it in the United States Senate and he can do it as President of the United States.

Sheesh, what does it take to get one stripped of one’s committee assignments and kicked out of caucus–ripping up a picture of FDR on Saturday Night Live? (“Fight the real enemy.”) Obama can buttonhole his former mentor all he likes. Expect to see Lieberman doing his best Zell Miller impression at this year’s Republican National Convention.

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Pastor John Hagee: “The Antichrist is a dispatch deep from the recesses of my id!” and other NOOZ!

by matttbastard

(video created by Bruce Wilson of Talk2Action.org)

Dunno, Max–I think it needs more “hootin’ and hollerin'” to achieve the vaunted threshold of ‘NOOZworthy’.  Speanking of NOOZ, a friend of a friend of an ex-CIA ratfucker tells me that FoxNews has locked up teh mysterious Michelle Obama ‘whitey’ video in Al Capone’s vault!!!11 What was that about wingnuts pole vaulting over bbq’d shark?

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