Archive for right wing

Newt Loves Drug War, Wants Expansion

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2011 by rottenart

Obviously, since the deficit is the only thing anyone in DC wants to talk about, it makes sense for the new Republican frontrunner to come out in favor of expanding one of the biggest wastes of money in American history. And, since it is Newt after all, he’s also thrown in some hypocrisy on the issue, just for good measure.

Not only does he now think medical marijuana is a “joke” despite having supported it in 1981, he’d like to see more drug testing of citizens requesting unemployment compensation or food stamps.  He also supports the death penalty for high-level drug smugglers, noting the “successful” and “draconian” drug policies of Singapore. However, despite getting “more aggressive about drug policy” and emulating Singapore’s mandatory executions, he doesn’t want us to throw anyone in jail either.

Remember, folks, Gingrich is supposed to be the “ideas man” of the GOP

Mitt Romney Can’t Help Himself

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2011 by rottenart

Hot on the heels of a very interesting story in which Romney aides and staffers bought and subsequently destroyed 17 hard drives with information relating to his time in the Mass. governor’s mansion comes his first major political ad:

Pretty devasting, right? Well, it would be if it weren’t a completely disingenuous fabrication. When Obama is quoted in the video as saying, “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose,” he’s not making that assertion for himself but rather quoting a McCain staffer who said it in relation to the McCain campaign! The most amazing part is that the Romney campaign, much like with the continuing e-mail situation, has doubled down and asserted that the blatant dishonesty is perfectly legit and that they used the clip on purpose.

Any sane person can see the obvious implications here: if you could get a candidate to, say, quote The Shining and say on camera, “I didn’t just kill you, I cut you up into little bits,” you could, according to RomneyLogic™, then put that into a commercial and claim the the candidate was a  murderous sociopath. Think Progress has put together a response to the Romney commercial to illustrate this beautifully:

Romney must really be sweating the Gingrich bubble if he’s this desperate already.

Let’s Talk About ‘Fair Share’

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

Steve Benen has a good post today about the persistent meme that’s been making the rounds since the deficit became the holy grail of national political discussion: it’s not fair to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay more in taxes because they already pay so much! John Boehner, ever the voice of the oppressed 1%, said this:

“Come on. The top 1% paid 38% of income taxes in America. How much more do you want them to pay?”

“We are not going to engage in class warfare,” Boehner said, adding: “The president’s clearly trying to do it, and it’s wrong.”

Well, let’s just parse that a bit, shall we? As Steve puts it:

“Just as important, while these very Americans are paying a larger percentage of the nation’s overall income taxes, they’re also paying a smaller share of their personal income in income taxes.”

As a percentage of their income, they’ve seen their tax rate drop significantly. While the top 20% do pay the majority of the income tax, they also control around 90% of the wealth and account for ~80% of the income.  In fact, while the middle and lower classes have seen their wages stagnate and even decline over the past 30 years, the uppermost 1%  have seen their incomes soar by 275% in the same period. And those vast majority who Boehner thinks aren’t paying enough? They’re already poor and don’t make enough money to have to pay!

Beware the Republican bearing statistics about taxes and who pays their ‘fair share’.

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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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.

Good.

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?

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!