Big Government is Bad, Right?

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by rottenart

An interesting catch over at digby’s blog: did you know that Alabama has its own Dept. of Homeland Security? Not just a couple of officers, mind you, but a cabinet level agency on top of their state and local police forces, FBI offices, and Federal DHS offices. As digby notes, it’s not surprising that everyone went a little nuts in 2001, creating an entirely new government bureaucracy from whole cloth (with a 2010 budget of nearly $100 billion, by the by) but the extent to which this federal system was mimicked by the  states is staggering. As this WaPo special report lays out, this is a very lucrative and extremely comprehensive network that essentially does the work that the federal agency already does and still manages to find very little to do.

What’s even more striking is how little attention this receives and how it explains things like this:

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If You Need it Explained…

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2011 by rottenart

…then  here you go! From the magnificent Story of Stuff website:

Failure is a Pretty ‘Super’ Option

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2011 by rottenart

It’s been clear for a while now that Republicans on the so-called “Super-committee” to oversee deficit reduction weren’t going to budge in the slightest. The media, for their part, have continued to advance a ridiculous narrative in which the GOP’s offer of $300 million in raised revenue (read: taxes) while making the Bush Tax Cuts permanent is somehow serious. Democrats on the panel, surprisingly, have refused to go along with such an inane proposal. So, here we are, less than a week until their deadline and they appear to be headed for complete failure.


First of all, the whole idea was stupid in the first place. It’s already congress’ job to come up with a budget. To put in the hands of an extra-super-secret congress is just political theater. More important, however, is what happens when they do fail. The whole idea was to make this committee accountable by building a doomsday scenario into their work:  if they can’t come to an agreement, automatic budget cuts (or sequestration, to use the word of the day) are triggered. Entitlements take a hit, defense takes a big hit, everyone’s pissed off and everyone can brag about reducing the deficit, right? Well, yes, but there’s one other huge piece of the puzzle that would have more of an effect than anything else: letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire.

We faced this same scenario earlier this year in the debt limit fiasco and last year when the cuts were supposed to expire originally: Republicans are too busy licking Grover Norquist’s boots (no matter how much John Boehner tries to pretend otherwise) to actually get serious and admit to fiscal reality. The fact that the GOP has become radicalized to the point of self-parody doesn’t help either. Tax rises, no matter the context or practical use, are anathema to the modern Republican party.

Regardless, the super-committee’s failure to reach an agreement, for all the bitching and moaning that Republicans will undoubtedly do, will actually lower the deficit. They won’t admit it, but it’s hard to deny facts. In fact, it looks to be as much as $7.1 trillion over the next decade. That’s a lot of scratch and it should be cause for celebration for those who feel the deficit is the end-all, be-all of American political discussion. Yet it’s clear that if the panel fails to deliver, the blame game is going to shift into overdrive with an election year looming. At the end of the day, however, the Bush Tax Cuts are the major driver for the deficit and letting them expire at the end of 2012 would put us back on track, with virtually no other actions to be taken.

It seems like those on the GOP side who are accusing the Obama administration of cheering for the super-committee’s failure should be doing a little cheering themselves if they truly care about the deficit. Anyone believe that’s the case?

I Forgot About Him (and Him)!

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2011 by rottenart

It turns out Glenn Beck is still saying things for money! He’s not on TV anymore and his cash-for-gold scam is being charged with fraud, but that doesn’t stop this stalwart warrior. No, he’s speaking out, letting us know that even though he trusts no one, he’s really, really good friends with Rick Santorum. In fact, Santorum is pretty much the next George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and probably Phyllis Schlafly all rolled up together. I guess that explains why Rick’s kids wear colonial clothing?

Anyway, is anyone else surprised that Glenn Beck is still saying things?

Let’s Get Up to Speed

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2011 by rottenart

It’s November, people. That means we have almost exactly one year until the elections of 2012.

“But Rottenart,” I  hear you ask, “between Occupying Everything and working three jobs, not to mention reading your numerous daily blog updates, how can I possibly know which loony tune GOP candidate to vote for in the upcoming primary? They’re all so equally crazy that it’s really difficult!”

Have no fear, dear readers! Follow me after the jump to take an in-depth look at the GOP field as it stands so you can become the informed voter our country needs, not the one our country deserves!

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How Many Can the Clown Car Hold?

Posted in Funny with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2011 by rottenart

Evidently, there’s still room in the GOP primary for the Koran-roasting sideburns vote!

Consumers Lose, America Wins

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2011 by rottenart

Most of you have probably seen this video by now. The one-time nominee to head the Consumer Protection Bureau and current candidate for the senate from Massachusetts lays out the foundation for everything that is gripping the country’s current psyche in blunt words.  I would even argue that this video, going viral and galvanizing support for her campaign almost immediately upon release, was one of the primary catalysts for the first people heading down to Wall St. The fact that the GOP is trying to use that as an attack means she’s doing something right.

If you haven’t been paying attention, the sentiments in this speech aren’t exactly popular with the moneyed elite. Her willingness to articulate the ills of the country so honestly is what guaranteed that she would never be confirmed by a senate so beholden to that same elite. President Obama, in a move pilloried by his base as yet another capitulation, passed over Warren once it became clear the the GOP in the upper house weren’t going to sway, giving the post instead to Richard Cordray. The Left was furious at the time but as it turns out, it couldn’t have been a better move.

Consider this photo showing a volunteer meeting for the Warren campaign. Scott Brown, Cosmo centerfold, misogynist and documented Koch-sucker, must be shaking in his boots. That he’s an outlier Republican in one of the bluest states is worry enough but Warren has nearly erased any lead he once held and done so in only a few short weeks.

2012 is likely to be a topsy-turvy, nausea-inducing election year but there is one bright spot in the cycle. America may have lost a strong middle class advocate at the CFB but it seems that she has the potential now to be an even more powerful force for working people in the US senate.

Elizabeth Warren for Senate