Friday, February 27, 2009

Quote of the Day

"I think we should push hard for a Jindal/Palin ticket. Come on--it would be comedy gold!"

Litbrit, on my Facebook wall.

Labels: , ,

Listen to The Colour of Your Dreams





Joseph A. Dugan, my Dad, died last week. He was a great man and I am lucky to be his son. For over 30 years he taught mostly elementary school kids, about a thousand students in all. Here's what one of his students had to say about him.

I am so sorry for your loss- Mr. Dugan spoke often of his children and family back when I had him as my 6th-grade teacher at the Hosmer School in Watertown in 1979-1980.

Mr. Dugan was a wonderful teacher, a fine gentleman and a great source of belief and encouragement to the students in his room. Looking back on 13 years of public school in Watertown, 4 years of college, three years of law school and two years of graduate school, Mr. Dugan was the best teacher I ever had. His impact has held throughout the course of all those years since, and I am grateful to have had the good luck to have landed in his class that year- a break I consider one of the luckier ones of my life.

I have heard how teachers can open minds, hearts and spirits- I need look no further than Mr. Dugan for clear and certain confirmation.

May God Bless Mr. Dugan and may he rest in peace.

My sincere condolences to you all.
Rachel Kaprielian (Hosmer School , class of 1980)

Feb 19, 2009
MA


When I was growing up, we always pronounced our last name with the accent on the last syllable, "du-GAN". Apparently the rest of the world, including the folks over in Ireland, pronounce it "DOOG-in". It's a mystery, but we think my Dad's folks may have changed the pronounciation back in the 1800s when they immigrated from Ireland because of the discrimination against the Irish. I guess "du -GAN" sounds more French than Irish.

It didn't happen often, but sometimes I met people in places far removed from Massachusetts who then asked me if my Dad was a teacher, just because of the way I pronounced "Dugan". They were students or parents of students of my dad, and they invariably had kind words and maybe a funny story.




I called him Pops. Pops did alot of talking to his students in the course of his lessons, but he was a quiet man. Alot of the lessons we learned at home were from what he did, not what he said, like taking the extra job at the grocery store to put food on the table, or building the addition on the back of the house so my invalid grandmother, his mother-in-law, could come live with us.

Pops served as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.He didn't talk much about it, but he was in charge of setting up radio communication stations. He was a lifetime member of the National Education Association and served as a public school teacher and administrator in Weymouth, Hingham, and Watertown.



Nobody knew Robert's Rules Of Order better than Pops. While working as a teacher in Weymouth, Pops represented teachers in negotiating the first-ever union contract for town educators.He was an elected public official, serving as a Weymouth Town Meeting Member; member of the Weymouth Democratic Town Committee; and a member of the Weymouth School Committee for 2 terms, including several years as Chairman. He handed out the diplomas at my high school graduation!

The plastic looking sack of bones in the casket wasn't my dad, that was just the vehicle. Pops didn't die. The body he inhabited died, and we buried it in The National Cemetery in Bourne. And if I see you no more in this world, Pops, I'll meet you in the next one, and don't be late!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Megan McArdle's Jindalmania

Megan McArdle wrote a follow up post to her original Jindalmania piece. Both posts were originally writen last year.


But once you're past that, well, the guy just has skills. His message, like Obama's, is one of hope and actual change; he tends to emphasize the work he's done reforming Louisiana's notoriously corrupt political culture. And like Obama, he has the charisma to put it over. Nearly all prominent politicians are extremely charismatic. Being in a room with them is like being in a room with the sun; you can't really look anywhere else. But some have it more than others, and Jindal has a lot of it.

He's also a really good political organizer, which is how a Republican carries Louisiana (to be sure, the Democratic governor's monstrously incompetent performance during Hurricane Katrina helped quite a bit.) And on the other metrics by which Obama stands out--his academic chops, his meteoric rise--Jindal actually betters Obama. The guy was accepted to both Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School, but decided to go for a political career, and accepted his Rhodes Scholarship instead. At 25 he was appointed Lousiana's Secretary of Health and Hospitals; at 28, he became the youngest-ever president of the University of Louisiana system.


McArdle comparing Jindal's political skills to Barack Obama's takes nerve. Unpopular incumbant Kathleen Blanco did not seek re-election, in the wake of hurricane Katrina. Jindal ran in a nonpartisan blanket primary against eleven opponents. Only two were Democrats. Walter Boasso and Foster Campbell did not hold a Congressional seat or previously run for Governor. Jindal has. Boasso switched from a Republican to Democrat because the Republican Party of Louisiana endorsed Jindal. Short answer: Jindal had an easy race after Blanco dropped out. Jindal won David Vitter's Congressional seat. The seat has been red since 1977.

Another fun fact: George W. Bush won Louisiana in 2000 and 2004. Jindal ran in 2003. Louisiana had a serving Republican Governor in Murphy J. Foster, Jr.. Blanco beat Jindal in 2003 52 percent to 48 percent. John McCain beat Obama in Louisiana by 58.6 percent to 39.9 percent.

Barack Obama raised a record 750 million for his presidential campaign. Obama beat Democratic superstar Hillary Clinton and former vice-presidential candidate John Edwards in the primary. Obama beat Republican media darling John McCain in the general election. McCain could have been elected president in 2000, if not for the smear campaign waged during the South Carolina primary.

How MrArdle can compare Obama's political savvy with Jindal's is beyond me? Jindal's Republican support is soft. Louisiana is not representative of the United States electorate. There is no evidence Jindal can raise cash or harness the power of the internet the way Obama did. I have already written about the highly negative reviews of Jindal's SOTU response. I get the feeling McArdle knows her "puppy love" crush bombed. There isn't a single post in McArdle's February 2009 archives about Bobby Jindal. The thing about puppy love crushes is they don't tend to last very long.

Personally, I have no respect for a blogger that would let FEMA off-the-hook for the Katrina response.


One interesting thing I learned is just how far Jindal has come in fighting Louisiana's institutional problems. Bush detractors get mad when I say this, but it really is true that the total ineptitude of the state and local governments was a major reason that things went so tragically wrong during Katrina. FEMA is a small agency with a few thousand employees; it is a funding mechanism for recovery efforts, not some sort of Super EMT Squad. FEMA does well in states that have competent and responsive government agencies, and not so well in places that don't. (The staggering incompetence of rebuilding efforts is another rant--but also, a symptom of broader government problems rather than necessarily something specific to FEMA. But then as I say, that's another rant.)


Blanco's response was inexcusable. Is McArdle aware the New Orleans levees are a federal project under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers? In Augest 2008, the Bush administration did not finish repairing the levees.

In the Youtube video below: Homeland Security Director makes the insane argument he based his Katrina response on newspaper headlines. I feel better if the Chertoff knew more about disasters then the media.

Chertoff: "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees" -- was based on news reports from the morning after the storm indicating that New Orleans had "dodged a bullet."

The newspaper headlines from August 29th, 2005 reported Katrina badly damaging New Orleans. The Grenada, Mississippi Daily Star is the only newspaper to use the phrase "dodged a bullet." Is this where the Bush administration gets all it's news?

Labels: , , ,

Quote of the Day

"Watching him with NBC's David Gregory on Sunday, I was reminded of the character Chance from the classic movie Being There. Chance, played brilliantly by Peter Sellers, is a mentally challenged gardener with good manners who, on the death of the owner of the estate where he works, inherits the owner's beautiful clothes, circle of friends and speaks to them in Zen-like metaphors that make them think he's an éminence grise. In fact, he's actually a sweet idiot savant."

Michael Putney, on Gov. Charlie Crist's Meet the Press performance.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Neko Case Music Goodies



National Public Radio is currently streaming Neko Case's new album Middle Cyclone. The record is outstanding and more upbeat than Fox Confessor Brings the Flood.


People Got A Lotta Nerve - Neko Case

Neko Case web site

Labels: , , ,

Howard Dean Pitches Obama's Health Care Plan



Howard Dean went on Hardball to discuss Barack Obama's health care proposal. There is no official bill. Tom Daschle was to be Obama's health care point man. Daschle's nomination went down in flames. Daschle failed to pay $128,000 in taxes. On Daschle's nomination: Obama admitted, "I screwed up."

Obama's campaign health care proposal lacks specifics. Obama will have the health care industry join the nineties by keeping patient files computerized. Another issue that needs to be addressed is more competition amongst pharmacal companies to lower the price of medicine. Bush promised, in 2004, to end the ban against pharmacal drugs from Canada. Matt Yglesias notes Bush never ended the ban. Wal-Mart lowered prescription drugs prices by buying in bulk. Bush made it law the federal government could not negotiate by buying in bulk.


The Medicare prescription drug law specifically bans the federal government from negotiating bulk discounts on drugs even though the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs saves 50 percent and more off the list price of drugs it purchases for veterans as a result of bulk purchasing. Therefore, a larger share of the $400 million earmarked over the next ten years for the Medicare drug program will pay for overpriced drugs and drug company profits.


What is good enough for Wal-Mart is not good enough for the free market advocate Bush.

The Obama plan sounds a lot like the John Kerry 2004 plan. Kerry pitched lowering health care costs and giving health care recipients a choice of health care provider. The Kerry plan would be similar to health care coverage members of Congress receive.


KERRY: The fact is that my health-care plan, America, is very simple. It gives you the choice. I don't force you to do anything. It's not a government plan. The government doesn't require you to do anything. You choose your doctor. You choose your plan. If you don't want to take the offer of the plan that I want to put forward, you don't have do. You can keep what you have today, keep a high deductible, keep high premiums, keep a high co-pay, keep low benefits. Here's what I do: We take over Medicaid children from the states so that every child in America is covered. And in exchange, if the states want to-they're not forced to, they can choose to-they cover individuals up to 300 percent of poverty. It's their choice.


My problem with Obama is his lack of health care policy details. Obama is urging quick action on health care. With Obama's approval ratings, the time is now. It would help if Obama actually had a health care point man.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Reactions to Bobby Jindal's State of the Union Response





Bobby Jindal gave the worst State of the Union response in recent memory. Jindal's wooden response. Jindal used hurricane Katrina as a reason the government should not get involved in emergency management. Has Jindal remember Michael Brown's and Michael Chertoff's role in Katrina? Jindal is disingenuous about Obama's stimulus bill. As a member of Congress, Jindal voted against moving FEMA out of the Department of Homeland Security.


To solve our current problems, Washington must lead. But the way to lead is not to raise taxes and not to just put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians. The way to lead is by empowering you, the American people. Because we believe that Americans can do anything.


The tax increases the GOP fears is the top tax bracket. This is the Republican Party's true base. Republicans voted against Obama's tax cuts. Obama has the Make Work Pay tax cuts that will affect 95 percent of Americans.


A "making work pay" refundable tax credit championed by Obama of up to $400 per individual and $800 for couples in 2009 and 2010. It is calculated at a rate of 6.2 percent of earned income and is phased out for individuals with adjusted incomes over $75,000 and couples with incomes over $150,000.

* A one-time payment of $250 to Social Security beneficiaries, railroad retirees and veterans receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. State government retirees not eligible for Social Security would also get the $250 payment.

* Increases the earned income tax credit for low-income workers with three or more children.

* Increases eligibility for the refundable child tax credit to more low-income workers. The bill reduces the income floor to $3,000 in 2009 and 2010 from the current floor of $8,500.

* A new $2,500 tax credit for college education expenses. The credit phases out for individuals earning more than $80,000 and couples with incomes over $160,000.

An $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers for homes purchased between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1, 2009. The tax credit phases out for individuals earning more than $75,000 and couples earning more than $150,000.

* Temporary relief from the alternative minimum tax for millions of middle-class taxpayers who otherwise would be ensnared by the tax originally meant for the very wealthy.

FOR BUSINESSES

* Small businesses with gross receipts of up to $15 million can write off 2008 losses against five previous tax years. Current laws allows a two-year carryback of losses.

Businesses will also be allowed to immediately write off more of their investments in computers and other equipment.

* Businesses that repurchase debt at a lower amount than when it was issued will be able to defer taxes on it. Usually reduced or canceled debt is treated as income and taxed. The break applies to debt repurchased adjusted after Dec. 31, 2008, and before Jan. 1, 2011.

* A tax break on capital gains from the sale of stock held in a small business for more than five years.

* The bill raises about $7 billion in revenues by repealing a Treasury Department decision last year to liberalize rules that were intended to prevent companies in a merger from taking huge tax breaks on losses of firms they were acquiring.


Jindal invokes 9-11. That didn't work for Rudy Giuliani. Jindal spoke about cleaning up corruption. He took money from Tom Delay, Roy Blunt, Jerry Lewis, and clints of Jack Abramoff. How can anyone whom took money from indicted men and is married to a lobbyist be a role model for anti-corruption.

The media reactions to Jindal's performance are hysterical. Rachel Maddow is literally speechless.



Conservative columnist David Brooks praised Obama's speech and panned Jindal's rhetoric.



Brooks called Jindal's reponse the worst ever by a Republican. Ouch.

Side note: this is almost as good as Rich Lowry's infamous "starbursts" post. Megan McArdle's post on meeting Jindal is hysterical.


Of course, I'm just in that first flush of puppy love, when a journalist meets a handsome young politician who just might be The One. Soon enough, I'll undoubtedly find things about him to hate. But frankly, it's rare enough to meet one I like. True love may have to wait.


I'm speechless. I wonder if Tas or Litbrit have a response to McArdle. This is too good to pass up.

Update: Jindal managed to piss off Mayor Royce Pollard, mayor of Vancouver, Washington.


"Does the governor have a volcano in his backyard?" Royce Pollard, the mayor of Vancouver, Washington, said on Wednesday. "We have one that's very active, and it still rumbles and spits and coughs very frequently."

Jindal singled out a $140 million appropriation for the U.S. Geological Survey as an example of questionable government spending during the GOP response to President Barack Obama's address to Congress Tuesday night.

The governor, a rising Republican star, questioned why "something called 'volcano monitoring' " was included in the nearly $800 billion economic stimulus bill Obama signed earlier this month.


Perhaps Jindal should find out before mentioning volcano monitoring in his speech.

Update: Fox News pans Jindal's speech.



Update: Paul Krugman perfectly mocks the stupidity of Jindal's speech.


And leaving aside the chutzpah of casting the failure of his own party’s governance as proof that government can’t work, does he really think that the response to natural disasters like Katrina is best undertaken by uncoordinated private action? Hey, why bother having an army? Let’s just rely on self-defense by armed citizens.

The intellectual incoherence is stunning. Basically, the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Tampa Bay Progressive Reading

Drinking Liberally is sponsoring the Tampa Bay Progressive Reading. The book to be discussed is "The Reluctant Fundamentalist."

Event Info

Host: Tampa Bay Progressive Reading
Type: Meetings - Club/Group Meeting
Network: Global

Time and Place

Date: Monday, March 2, 2009
Time: 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: Barnes and Noble
Street: 213 N Dale Mabry
City/Town: Tampa, FL

Labels: ,

Obama Combatting Homelessness

President Barack Obama will use $10 billion of HUD money "to create green jobs, to revive housing markets with high rates of foreclosure, and curb homelessness." The money will come from the Promoting Stable Communities and Helping Families Hardest Hit by the Economic Crisis.


These investments will help communities and families that have experienced the brunt of the economic downturn. Resources will be used to stabilize and revive local neighborhoods and housing markets with heavy concentrations of foreclosed properties. Funds will also assist the vulnerable families and individuals who are on the brink of homelessness or have recently become homeless.


HUD has also set up the Homelessness Prevention Fund.


HUD is allocating nearly $1.5 billion to state and local governments to help rapidly re-house homeless persons and families who enter shelters. In addition, HUD's Homelessness Prevention Fund will significantly expand efforts to prevent homelessness among those facing a sudden economic crisis.


Florida will get $74 million for homeless-assistance programs.

Orlando has been granted $6 million to stop the growing homeless population.


"Millions for the homeless? Let me see it. I pray to God that there's an honest bookkeeper," homeless man Charles Theus said.


The Coalition for the Homeless will use the money to place homeless people in apartments. I'm interested in what Jackie Dowd has to say about this. Dowd is an Orlando homeless advocate attorney.

In Tampa, the United Way is asking for $1.3 million. The Tampa United Way's fundraiing fell by $2 million in 2008. Marc Sutherland of America's Second Harvest of Tampa said, "The need is going up and it's getting harder and harder to get food for these programs." America's Second Harvest of Tampa provides food to 350 agencies that feed the homeless.

Miami-Dade county will receive $25.6 million. Mayor Carlos Alvarez gave the right message about the grant money.


Member of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust Board, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez declared, "This record level of funding represents a continued commitment on behalf of U.S. HUD to help communities that have helped themselves. We are fortunate to have these additional funds to help these needy families and individuals; and grateful to HUD for their collaboration in addressing those most in need."


Jacksonville received a meager $2 million.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Quote of the Day

"Because [Chris] had a really good friend of his say to him, 'What are you going to do when you get there?' and he couldn't answer the question and he realized that, and that's why he didn't run," says Todd. "It was a childhood dream to be a senator, but he didn't know what he was going to do if he got there."

Chuck Todd, on why Chris Matthews did not run for Arlen Specter's Senate seat.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Avoiding Ryan Seacrest

It is nice to know Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie share my contempt for Ryan Seacrest.

Labels: , , ,

Doing An Aravosis

John Aravosis is not loved by the members of Pushing Rope. Tas has riped Aravosis here and here. Aravosis has written two posts accusing Sen. Richard Shelby of being a pedophilia. The posts were Aravosis's lame attempts to illustrate Shelby's accusion that President Barack Obama is not an American citizen are baseless.

I have avoided blogging about the Shelby remark. Voters have already decided the accusation is groundless. Shelby can make all the innuendos he wants about Obama's citizenship. It is not going to make him more popular than Obama. Aravosis stoods to the same level of smears Glenn Reynolds and Michelle Malkin used against John Kerry's military service. The way to beat the Right is not by imitating it's most disreputable bloggers. Aravosis crossed the line of common sense and civil discourse. Sadly, it won't be the last time.

Labels: , ,

Quote of the Day



"I think there is a national leader, his name is President Obama."

Gov. Charlie Crist, on Meet the Press.

Crist is a smart pol. He understands Republicans are getting smashed in the polls by Obama. Secretly, Republicans want the stimulus bill to pass. Gov. Sarah Palin made a stimulus wish list and went to Washington to lobby for passage of the stimulus bill. Publicly, Palin said, "I agree with the decision of Senator Murkowski and Congressman Young to vote NO on the package."

Senator Arlen Specter had this exchange with a fellow Republican.


Arlen Specter was one of just three Senate Republicans to buck his party and vote in favor of President Obama’s stimulus package. After he announced his decision, he says, a fellow GOP senator approached him in private to offer congratulations.

When asked, however, that unknown senator declined to join Specter because he was too afraid of drawing a primary challenge. He was glad somebody was doing the right thing, but he wouldn’t risk it himself.

As Specter put it, “there are a lot of people in the Republican caucus who are glad to see this action taken without their fingerprints, without their participation. … I think a good part of the caucus agrees with the person I quoted.”


"They're like sheep in a way," former Florida House Speaker Johnnie Byrd said of fellow Republicans. "They're looking for someone to tell them what to do." Beltway Republicans were under the misguided impression John Boehner, Eric Canter and Mitch McConnell are more politically astute than Barack Obama. Obama got his stimulus package passed and Congressional Democrats are polling better than Republican rivals. The stimulus package hasn't hurt Crist's numbers, either.

Why are Congressional Republicans listening to the leadership that lost the past two elections? I don't know why, but it makes me happy.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, February 19, 2009

99 Problems But Michael Steele Ain't One

I love Michael Steele. The new RNC chair is an endless supply of comedy material. Steele pledges to make the Republican Party more hip hop. Didn't they try that and fail with Karl "MC" Rove?


"We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles," Steele told the Washington Times. "But we want to apply them to urban-suburban hip-hop settings."

"It will be avant garde, technically," he said of the new public relations team he's signing on. "It will come to the table with things that will surprise everyone - off the hook." He also added: "I don't do 'cutting-edge.' That's what Democrats are doing. We're going beyond cutting-edge."


I can not see College Republicans in a hip hop club. The exchanges about affirmative action would be painful. Rappers, such as Jay-Z, are huge Barack Obama supporters.



Jay-Z at a post-inauguration concert. I can't imagine Jay-Z or Kanye West performing for John McCain. Neither can the GOP establishment.

"I got 99 problems but a Bush ain't one."

Labels: , , , , ,

Ryan Keith Skipper Trial

Litbrit and I wrote about the murder of Ryan Keith Skipper. Joseph Bearden is accused of murdering Skipper. Equality Florida is urging citizens to voice their views.


Dear Friends,

As the trial of Ryan Skipper's accused murderer unfolds, it is clear that anti-gay hatred played a significant role in Ryan's murder. According to a witness who took the stand yesterday:

"He (Bearden) said he didn't like gays."

Prosecutors then revealed that the same witness previously told police:

"(Bearden) felt he was doing the world a favor by getting rid of one more faggot."


Equality Florida has a page set up to contact Gov. Charlie Crist and Attorney General Bill McCollum. I urge readers to stay away from form letters. The best way to have your voice heard is write your own original message. Below is Crist's and McCollum's email addresses.

Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com

ag.mccollum@myfloridalegal.com

Labels: , , ,

Joel Award: Sarah Palin

It is time to give out another Joel Award. The award is given to a blogger, politician or pundit whom makes glaringly obvious contradictory statements.

Gov. Sarah Palin recently visited Washington to press Senator Mitch McConnell to support the stimulus package. Palin gave the Alaskan congressional delegation a laundry list of projects to add in the stimulus package.


I am writing to communicate some additional thoughts concerning the economic stimulus package now under discussion in Congress.

This letter compliments our previous list of four infrastructure projects that would support construction of the Alaska natural gas pipeline. These bid-ready projects strongly reflect the goal of creating new jobs, both in construction and the operation of the pipeline, while also promoting sound national energy policy.

I strongly recommend that federal funds to states be allocated pursuant to formulas that are fair and equitable. As you know, formulas already exist in federal law for such programs as highways and bridges, aviation, and Medicaid. In those instances where there are no formulas- for example in the case of renewable energy projects and
ports and harbors-formulas and grant programs could be devised and included in the
economic stimulus package.


Palin's stimulus request includes transportation, Medicaid, Kodiak Launch Complex.

Publicly, Palin made this statement during her Washington visit.


“I agree with the decision of Senator Murkowski and Congressman Young to vote NO on the package,” Governor Palin said.


Palin went up to Washington to lobby for stimulus money. On the same trip, she told the media she was against the stimulus package. This is politics at it's most cynical. This is why Palin wins the Joel Award.

Labels: , ,

Troll Hall of Hame: Anonymous Racist

The greatest joke around, is Our President Himself.... Black arab sits in the White House...nonsense...???
No, I am not a racist...I have many friends with dark skin, and some of them are very special ones to me!!!

Anonymous, in the comments for the post "Obama Keeps Promise On SCHIP."

The anonymous poster is a racist. Why use the words "Black arab?" It is a racist slur. The "I have many friends with dark skin" defense is old. I seriously doubt the commentor has friends of color. The final straw is the commentor doesn't even have the courage to make such a slur under his true identity.

Congratulations to Anonymous Racist. You are now in the Pushing Rope troll hall of fame.

Previous inductee: Bryan.

Update: Anonymous Racist compares links Obama's name to Osama bin Laden. He still argues he isn't a racist. Anonymous Racist has made a single point pro or con about SCHIP. Obama keeping his campaign promise of increasing SCHIP funding was what my post dealt with.


How could it be...Our New President - ''Usama'' Obama - is not the real Christian...He just bacame the Christian... for the Presidential term only...and then He will be again, as He always was -- The True Arab Believer...nonsense...I can't believe it...but it seems to be True..!!!
No, I'm not a racist..!!


Anonymous Racist wants to use my blog to spout off hateful drivel. He has no interest in discussing health care policy. He he was forced to discuss SCHIP, it would be the usual socialized medicine bullshit. Anonymous Racist, go find a white supremist message board to play on.

Labels: , ,

The Right's Fascism Problem



Michelle Malkin posed for a picture with a man holding a swastika sign. The photo was taken at a Denver, Colorado anti-stimulus package rally. Malkin has made a career out of support of the Japanese internment camps and anti-immigration. Malkin publicly supports the white supremist Minutemen Project.

Glenn Beck, Jonah Goldberg and the sign-carrying Swastika Guy enjoy bringing Neo-Nazism into political discourse. The 2009 version of conservatism is demonizing gays, Hispanics, blacks, Muslims and cutting health care for children.

The last Republican administation illegally wiretapped.

The last Republican administation jailed people without charge.

The last Republican administation paid off Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher for positive media coverage.

The last Republican administation told Americans "with us or against us."

The current Republican brand would terrify the Founding fathers and George Orwell. Fascism is government leaders using fearmongering to impose their will. Ari Fleischer's "with us or against us" was not designed to make Americans feel safer.

A fascist government will make decisions in secrecy. Dick Cheney still hasn't released the names of those that attended his energy commission meetings. The Bush administration kept waterboarding and wiretapping secret. Bush and Cheney issued nondenials when news started leaking out. Bush and Cheney were later forced to admit waterboarding and wiretapping. Claiming the Constitution gave them the authority.

The Fourth amendment states "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated." The Eighth amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. America is not fascist. The Bush administration steered America towards a fascist path. Bush was a president that publicly declared he had to aswer to no one. Republicans, such as Goldberg, believe fascists "isn’t an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade-school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore." Orwell wrote about the misuse of the word fascism.


In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Benjamin Franklin

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Michele Bachmann's Latest Nonsense



Conservative talk show host Chris Baker interviewed Republican Michele Bachmann. The Congresswoman declared the stimulus package is unconstitutional. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed both houses of Congress and signed by the President. To say a spending bill is unconstitutional is legally bogus.

Bachmann declared the stimulus package contains funding for ACORN.


Bachmann: I mean, if you think, ACORN - this is a group that's under Federal indictment...
Baker: Unbelievable

Bachmann: ...for voter fraud. ACORN - they've received a total of $53 million in direct Federal Grants since 1994. Do you know how much they're getting under this (the stimulus) bill?

Baker: Like $4 billion, I've heard.

Bachmann: $5 Billion.

Baker? $5 billion?

Bachmann: For ACORN.


A search of Recovery.gov reveals zero results for ACORN. Washington Monthly blogger Steve Benen found nothing in the stimulus package for ACORN. Search the final Senate bill. There is no funding for ACORN.

The conservative blog The Average American helped start the ACORN myth.


Education for the Disadvantaged $13,000,000,000 hmmm, Chicago and places like it? Can you say ACORN?


Free Republic accused Democrats of funding ACORN. Free Republic failed to quote the text in the bill. David "Sex Scandal" Vitter told Fox News the stimulus bill would provide money to non-profits. Therefore ACORN must be getting funding. Republicans need to have better attack dogs than Freepers, Bachmann and Vitter.

The ACORN attacks didn't work against Obama during the campaign. Republicans are desperate, if they believe a failed attack will work. I don't give a shit about ACORN and I follow politics. Republicans are kidding themselves if they think Americans will get worked up about ACORN.

My favorite moment of the Bachmann interview.


"We're running out of rich people in this country."


People are angry at Wall Street and Bernard Madoff. Voters that can't pay their mortgages aren't going to be sympathetic with Bachmann's plea to save the rich. It is a politically suicidal message. The Republican establishment can not communicate with working people. John McCain campaigned on the words: "I think, still the fundamentals of our economy are strong." Bachmann is selling the same nonsense. Democrats need to hammer the economic message Bill Clinton delivered in 1992. Republicans can't compete on economics. That is why their opposition to the stimulus bill has been so intense.

Labels: , , , ,

Quote of the Day



"No. I don't want to get into detail about that. But I think abstinence is, like -- like, the -- I don't know how to put it -- like, the main -- everyone should be abstinent or whatever, but it's not realistic at all."

Bristol Palin

I am glad Bristol Palin did the Fox News interview. She proved herself to be a very intelligent young woman. It was surprising to hear her say abstinence doesn't work. Bristol's mother, Sarah Palin supports abstinence-only sex education and has presidential ambitions. Bristol used her television time to tell other teens to wait before having a child.

Bristol has a good head on her shoulders. It is nice to see a real person and not a symbol for teen pregnancy. We need to understand issues affect the lives of Americans. The rhetoric of talk radio and cable news turns every issue into an us vs them event.

I didn't buy that momma Sarah didn't know about the interview until the day before. Momma Sarah's surprise appearance came off a bogus. Palin's spiel about how it is not government's role to help teen mothers bothered me. Palin vetoed funds for Passage House. The facility is used to house teen mothers. There is a difference between being conservative and throwing young mothers out on the street. Palin is a conservative, but lacks compassionate.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Glenn Beck's Crazy Train



Glenn Beck believes the Obama administration will censor the speech of Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and himself. Even O'Reilly has a hard time buying Beck's rant. You know there is a problem when O'Reilly is the voice of reason.


BECK: Alright! Let's just lay out all the cards on the table!

O'REILLY: Go ahead.

BECK: I'm full-fledged crazy nuts! You know it and I know it. So here it is.

(Beck turns to camera.)

BECK: This is what's coming America. Depression and revolution. That's what's coming.

O'REILLY: Alright...

BECK: They're gonna eat the rich.

(Beck points at O'Reilly.)

BECK: And they're starting with you.

O'REILLY: Why am I putting this man on the air?

(BECK gives a bizarre laugh.)

O'REILLY: So, are you selling muskets now?

BECK: Yes.


To paraphrase Ozzy Osborne: Beck went off the rails of the crazy train. This shouldn't be surprising.

"I think Jesus Christ and Hitler had a lot in common," Beck once said. "And that was they could both look you in the eye and say, "I`ve got an answer for you, follow me." One was evil; one was good." Only someone as unhinged as Beck would make such an analogy.

Stephen Colbert has noticed Beck's bizarre ramblings.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stimulus Package Photo Essay

The White House released a photo essay on how the stimulus package came about. It is nice to see Obama's staff taking a dig at Republicans.


Jan. 27, 2009: House Republicans surround the President after the meeting. Many of them were seeking his autograph. Every House Republican eventually voted against the bill.


Conservatives, can I get an "Indeed."

Labels: ,

Ollie North by Northwest

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A-Rod (Career) Is Dead

The Onion pens of bogus eulogy for A-Rod.


"A-Rod was a person, but a much better baseball player," a statement from the New York Yankees' front office read in part.


A-Rod's final words were: "You'll have to talk to the Union.... I'm not saying anything."

Labels: , ,

There Are No Jeb Bush Education Accomplishments

In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court ruled against Opportunity Scholarships vouchers.


Using the same term, “adequate provision,” article IX, section 1(a) further states: “Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools.” For reasons expressed more fully below, we find that the OSP violates this language. It diverts public dollars into separate private systems parallel to and in competition with the free public schools that are the sole means set out in the Constitution for the state to provide for the education of Florida’s children. This diversion not only reduces money available to the free schools, but also funds private schools that are not “uniform” when compared with each other or the public system. Many standards imposed by law on the public schools are inapplicable to the private schools receiving public monies. In sum, through the OSP the state is fostering plural, nonuniform systems of education in direct violation of the constitutional mandate for a uniform system of free public schools.


A Palm Beach Post found students in the Opportunity Scholarship program scored in an F in FACT testing. Palm Beach schools got around the problem by letting voucher students graduate without taking the FCAT. Palm Beach voucher students are required to take an online FCAT. The course is based in Pennsylvania.


"Florida's nationally recognized accountability system, as established by the Florida Legislature, works to ensure that all students have the same opportunity to achieve at higher levels," a DOE spokeswoman told Ms. Green. "By circumventing Florida's prerequisites for a state-sanctioned diploma, districts do a disservice to our students and to our state as a whole."


Republican lawmakers have no idea how voucher students are doing on the FCAT. The FCAT was designed to flunk public schools. If Jeb Bush was truly interested in FCAt results, he would have required private schools receiving state money to take the FCAT. "What I saw was that 90 percent of the energy went to undermining our public schools with vouchers and charters," said former K-12 education chancellor Jim Warford.

Under Bush, Florida led the country two years with the lowest graduation rate. Bush's education legacy is a joke. Bush will sell his bogus education accomplishments to Newsmax and the Wall Street Journal. Bush would not dare make the same claims to the New York Times or Washington Post. It is hard to be an education maverick when Florida's national education rankings are shameful. Bush had two terms to boost education rankings. He chose to underfund schools and attempt to sabotage the class-size amendment.

Labels: , , , , ,

Music Goodies: Always Sunday


Brandy (Youre a Fine Girl) - Looking Glass


Always Saturday - Guadalcanal Diary

Brandy (You're A Fine Girl is one of the greatest pop song from the 70s AM radio era. Always Saturday would be a hit song in a just world.

Labels: , , ,

Taliban Cease-Fire In Swat

The Wall Street Journal reports the Taliban agreed to a ten day cease-fire with the Pakistani government. The catch is the government will impose Islamic law in the Swat Valley. This will allow the Taliban to continue to violate the the civil rights of women. 162 girl schools were destroyed by Maulana Fazalullah and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

It is unlikely the Taliban will honor the cease-fire. In 2007, 72 police officers in Swat were murdered. The Taliban are beheading those that oppose them. The Taliban control the majority of Swat and are using the valley as a staging ground for attacks in Afghanistan. President Asif Ali Zardari admits his government has been in a state of denial about the Taliban threat.


“It’s been happening over time and it’s happened out of denial,” Zardari told CBS, when asked how militants had secured a foothold in the Swat Valley, only 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of the capital, Islamabad.

“Everyone was in denial that they’re weak and they won’t be able to take over, they won’t be able to give us a challenge,” Zardari said, in excerpts from the interview aired on the broadcaster’s Web site yesterday. “Our forces weren’t increased and therefore we have weaknesses, and they are taking advantage of that weakness.”


The cease-fire is another form of denial. The Taliban look at the Pakistani government as pro-America. The Taliban will not tolerate anything they deem as a Western influence.

The humanitarian crisis has grown grave. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates 900,000 Swat residents are affected by the war. Many will be forced to flee their homes. The refugee camps have become unmanageable.

Pakistan is a country with nuclear technology and fighting religious extremists. Relations with India are hostile. Neighboring Afghanistan is unstable. U.S. policymakers need to quickly decide what to do about Pakistan. The matter is too urgent for partisan bickering.

Labels: , , , , ,

Beyond Captioning

This picture has been around for awhile. However, I thought readers would get a kick out of Tas having his photo taken with Michelle Malkin. Tas was covering CPAC for Raw Story.

Labels: ,

Quote of the Day



"I want everything he's doing to fail... I want the stimulus package to fail.... I do not want this to succeed."

Rush Limbaugh, on Barack Obama's stimulus package.

My favorite part is Limbaugh saying people don't know what is in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Does Rush? Limbaugh has never been accused of being a policy wonk.

Labels: , ,

Feel the Biparisan Love



The graph by Perrspectives shows the stark difference between Democrats and Republicans support for the other party's stimulus packages.

Labels:

Wingnut Use the Protesst Lessons From Bush Years? WTF

The Republican web site Rebuild the Party is posted information for a protest in Westlake Park, Seattle.


The protest against the porkulus is on for President's Day!

Date: Monday, February 16th
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Where: Westlake Park in downtown Seattle, 401 Pine St., in the open area by the big arch.

The idea is to use what we've learned about dissent over the last eight years. We need loud protests with lots noise and visuals. So, what should you bring?


The protest is against Barack Obama's stimulus package. Blogger Kristy S-Y wonders what protest lessons the Republicans have learned in the past eight years. The big protest issue was the Iraq war. The Republican base was soundly behind George W. Bush's neoconservative foreign policy. Republicans weren't protesting against torture or for equal pay for women. The major conservative protest issue was overturning Roe v. Wade. That failed in South Dakota.

Liberty Belle is the creator of the protest. The anonymous blogger lashed out against Kristy S-Y, in what reads like a parody of conservative blog post.


That is such an unsurprising response from your typical liberal, middle-aged, mocha drinking, Nordstrom's wearing, PCC shopping, haughty Seattleite who probably felt so darn proud that she wore an Obama pin for months raised a glass of real, fair trade, organic, French champagne on Inauguration day. It cracked me up.


Why do conservative bloggers always use run-on sentences and liberal stereotypes? Conservatives should show some originality in their disses. Is that too much to ask?

Unsurprising, Glenn Reynolds and Michelle Malkin love the idea for this protest. Malkin posted the image: "Proud to be unpatriotic in Obama's America." For years conservative bloggers have labeled progressive unpatriotic. Malkin comes right out and declares her lack of patriotism. The only God these people worship is elephant shit.

Pollsters note Obama's approval ratings are through the roof. Republicans are seen as obstructionists. Republican Congressman Eric Canter is turning to Newt Gingrich for advise. Gingrich's claims to fame is the unpopular shutdown of the federal government, being forced to step down and being against Bill Clinton's economic policies. Republicans want to chew red meat. Not govern. Gingrich proved he can not do the latter.

Considering what Obama's approval ratings must be in the blue Seattle -- I don't expect Liberty Belle's protest to generate a great deal interest.

Labels: , , ,

Blogging for the Media: Enter At Your Own Risk

Zencomix writes about his experience cartooning for alt-media. Editors gave Dave the pitch "we're giving you exposure." That translates into not being fairly compensated for work. News organizations are discontinuing political comic strips. My experience is Zen Comix brings traffic to Pushing Rope. The second most popular keyboard search on PR's Extreme stats counter is "cartoons." It makes no sense for print and web media to kill a popular feature.

Print media isn't losing money because of comic strips. The lack of advertising revenue reflects the economy and the quality of journalism. Columnist Harold Meyerson details how owner Sam Zell destroyed the Chicago Tribune.


During his first year in journalism, Zell has visited the city rooms and Washington bureaus of a number of Trib publications to deliver obscenity-laced warnings and threats to employees that whatever it was they were doing, it wasn't working. There was too much coverage of world and national affairs, he told Times writers and editors; readers don't want that stuff. Last week, the company decreed that its 12 papers would have to cut by 500 the number of pages they devoted every week to news, features and editorials, until the ratio of pages devoted to copy and pages devoted to advertising was a nice, even 1 to 1. At the Times, that would mean eliminating 82 pages a week.


Corporate owners placed less stock in quality and failed to keep up with the internet revolution. Rupert Murdoch made a mistake ending the Wall Street Journal's online subscription service. Given the WSJ away for free is financially foolish.

Tas wrote about a deal to blog for a media company. Disclosure: I am the blogger ("someone else who the semi-big media site wanted to blog for them") that was negotiating the deal. I don't have anything to add to Tas's post. Except that I stand by everything Tas wrote.

Word of advise to bloggers: want to find out if a media company is being straight. Ask for them to start detailing payment and copyright issues in writing. If they stall (which was my experience) then it is best to move on.

Side note: we won't name the media company. So don't ask.

Update: At one point, the deal was for the media company to host Pushing Rope. My goal was to recruit other progressive bloggers and make PR like AlterNet Peek. At a meeting, I mentioned Talking Points Memo and Daily Kos get ad revenue from political activist organizations. The web editor declared, "We aren't interested in Daily Kos or Talking Points Memo ad revenue!" A media company looking for more internet revenue told me they weren't interested in the ad market of two of the most profitable blogs in America. It took all my willpower not to laugh.

Labels: , , , , ,

Print Comics Apocalypse


There's been much hand wringing in the cartoon world the past few weeks. Village Voice Media, publisher of many alternative weekly newspapers, has "temporarily" suspended publishing comics in all its papers due to shrinking budgets.

Max Cannon goes so far to suggest that the comics in the alt weeklies might disappear altogether, even from the internet, because, ya know, these website with comics aren't making any money!While I sympathize with the plight of cartoonists not making enough money, I find it hard to believe an artist is going to stop making art simply because there's not enough cash involved.

Tom Tomorrow gives a brief history of alt weekly cartooning.

Matt Bors has an interview with Kevin Allman, editor of The Gambit, an alt-weekly out of New Orleans.



Derf writes
The newspaper industry overall, both the daily and weekly "alternative" press, is in a state of total panic right now. 2008 was the worst year I've ever had, with desperate editors cutting cartoons right and left. Dailies, for all the suicidal moves they have made, at least aren't axing cartoons. They run wretched ones, to be sure, but they recognize how vital comics are. I believe Weeklies should be ADDING features and content, especially cartoons, which are both popular and inexpensive. Instead the strategy seems to be "let's give our readers LESS to read!" Yeah. Wonder how that will work out?

What makes this even more of a blow, is VVM will apparently continue to run the ubiquitious sex-advice-astrologly features that appear in virtually every weekly. It's mostly the cartoons that are being tossed off the back of the bus. Me? I'll produce THE CITY for as long as I can. I'm determined to make it to the 20-year mark, just for my own sense of accomplishment. That will be May 2010. Beyond that, who knows. If it makes sense to continue, I will. If not, then I'll close it down and toddle off to do graphic novels.




My own experience with the "industry" is on a much smaller, local scale. I started drawing editorial cartoons for The Daily Iowan in the Fall of 2002. They printed one or two a week, I wasn't paid alot, but it was something. I brought the same cartoons to The Iowa City Press-Citizen, and they started printing some, but they didn't pay. Not even a nominal fee. It was a "we're giving you exposure" gig that I did with an eye down the road, maybe somebody sees it and it gets picked up for syndication, I get rich and live happily ever after. With limited success, I did a little cartooning for Iowa City's "alt- monthly", The Little Village .( They changed publishers, I should drop them a line)

The Daily Iowan didn't like my cartoons on their pages also showing up on the pages of The Press-Citizen, so I was given an ultimatum. The Daily Iowan forced me to choose between the two papers, even though I was technically "freelancing". I went with the Daily Iowan because they were paying, but with the stipulation that I was a "staff cartoonist".

What I really wanted to do was a daily strip. The Daily Iowan is a college newspaper, and if you thought "what better venue for a local cartoonist to start a new comic strip than a college paper, especially when he's a staff cartoonist at the college paper!", you'd be dead fucking wrong. The paper ran Doonesbury, Non-Sequitor, Dilbert. I argued, quite logically, "why are you printing those comics when they also appear in The Press-Citizen? You don't want my cartoons appearing in both papers. Why don't you drop one of them and print my strip?"

I even did mock up pages and re-arranged all the content (horoscopes,crossword, etc.) so that nothing was dropped, but space was there for my strip. The editor in charge, on what I believe to be the advice of faculty advisors, refused to even consider the possibility. She wanted The Daily Iowan "Daily Break" page to look like every other lame ass daily newspaper in the country, so when she goes to get a job at one of them (good luck with that), she can show them copies of the Daily Iowan and say "See, my lame ass paper looks just like yours! Hire me!"

So I quit The Daily Iowan and started Zencomix.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Xe

In need of an image makeover, Blackwater Worldwide changes it's name to Xe. If becoming a laughingstock is Blackwater's new PR goal then mission accomplished. I can't wait for the new logo.

Labels: ,

Florida Republicans Make Medicaid & KidCare Suffer

Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist have left KidCare underfunded. Bush lost $20 million in federal funds for KidCare. Bush intentionally let KidCare funding die. The waiting list for children with medical needs was over 700,000. Parents were greeted with the answering machine message: "It is not possible to tell you where your child is on the wait list or how soon he or she will be enrolled."

Barack Obama's stimulus package may not help Florida KidCare. The state is eligible for $33 billion. The problem is Florida has to match $1 billion for every $2 billion in federal funds. In 2007, Kathy Castor urged Crist to call a special session for KidCare. Crist let Senate President Ken Pruitt let KidCare die in session. The Republican Pruitt blamed KidCare not passing on it's supporters.


"The Senate has been vilified about this, and that's okay, " Pruitt said. "But this didn't happen in the Florida Senate. It's just these providers and these groups finally got together to come up with an agreement, which they didn't, and the process we have here gave them ample time to do it."


How has the Republican-led Florida Senate "been vilified?" Does the GOP want to be known as the party that is against child heath care? Michelle Malkin's attacks on Graeme Frost showed utter insensitively. Republicans demonize children, but support CEO pay raises. Talk about fucked-up priorities.

We now learn Florida is not likely to receive funding for Medicaid.


And Crist's budget writers are going to have to deal with some troublesome details.

For example, the bill provides $87 billion nationally for Medicaid, the federal-state program that pays for medical care for the sick, elderly and poor. Medicaid enrollment in Florida is up by more than 10 percent.

But to qualify for the money, states are required to maintain the same level of Medicaid coverage that they provided in July.


Cut Medicaid as enrollment increases. That was bound to bite Crist and Republicans in the ass. Republicans did health care on the cheap.

"Most of the things in there require us to spend more money in order to get more money," Amy Baker explain, coordinator of the Legislature's Office of Economic and Demographic Research. "So there are going to be hard decisions to make."

Crist and the Florida legislature may have to increase state funding for Medicaid. Florida is in a fiscal deficit. That solution is unlikely.

Policy people need to understand how Florida got into the current health care crisis. The message should be citizens will not tolerate poor health care policies. Preventive health care saves lives and money. Crist and fellow Republican's may have to borrow money to receive Medicaid and KidCare funds. The money would have to be paid back with interest. Fiscally, Republicans counter productive health care policies cost the taxpayer more. Enough is enough.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, February 13, 2009

Transportation Stimulus Money

Mother Jones reports where stimulus for transportation money is going.


Federal Aviation Administration infrastructure - $200,000,000

Grants-in-aid for airportsb- $1,100,000,000

Highway infrastructure investment - $26,725,000,000

Highway infrastructure investment in Puerto Rico - $105,000,000

Highway infrastructure funds distributed by states - $60,000,000

Highway funds for the Indian Reservation Roads program - $550,000,000

Labels:

Florida Progressive Radio: Shelby Knox



Shelby Knox is the subject of a documentary. As a student, Knox fought against the Lubbock, Texas school district's policy of abstinence-only sex education. Knox is now 22 years-old and has written about sex education policy.

Correction: the show airs at 4:00 PM. I will post the audio.

Update: the audio works now.

Labels: , ,

Friday Cat Blogging



A cat goes to great effort to get his master to feed him.

Labels: ,

David Weigel of the Washington Independent asked several Republicans how their stimulus plan is going to create 6.2 million jobs. No Republican gave Weigal an answer. Republicans cited a 2007 study by White House CEA chair Christina Romer. I read this study last month. My memory is the study is insanely boring and does not deal with the current economic crisis. It does mentions tax cuts as a possible form of stimulus. Republicans ran with that.


Just ahead of a House vote that they're expected to lose along party lines, Republicans insisted Wednesday that their own plan, focusing on tax relief, would create twice as many new jobs — 6.2 million — as the plan Obama is pushing, while costing about half as much.

House Minority Leader John Boehner said Republicans remain "disappointed" in the stimulus plan coming to a vote. He says it includes a "lot of wasteful spending that won't create jobs."


The White House issued a press release on how Republicans are creatively interpreting of Romer's prerecssion study.


CEA Director Romer’s view is that the House analysis is absolutely incorrect. The CEA estimates that the Republican plan would create only 1.7 million jobs, compared to 4.2 million for the Democratic plan.

Question: The House claims that based on the research of CEA Chair Christy Romer, their plan would create 6.2 million jobs. Isn’t that a more effective way of jumpstarting the economy?

Answer: The Republican House analysis is flat wrong in its claim that the House Republican stimulus is more effective. No matter what your analytical assumptions, as long as they are consistent the plan the President supports would result in substantially greater job creation than the House Republican plan.

Independent groups that have analyzed the President’s plan -- from Macroeconomic Advisors to former McCain advisor Mark Zandi -- have confirmed that the President’s plan will create between 3 - 4 million jobs--twice the number of the House plan. The President supports takes a broad, comprehensive approach. It includes substantial tax cuts – many of which mirror the provisions in the House Republican plan. But it also includes new spending programs that many economists across the spectrum believe will help create jobs and give our economy a kickstart right now.

Question: But doesn’t Dr. Romer’s research show that the economic impact of tax cuts is higher than even the Administration is assuming?

Answer: Dr. Romer’s research suggests that all types of fiscal stimulus, both spending and tax cuts, might well have a larger impact than is typically assumed and is assumed in the CEA's analysis. It would be great if that were so. It would mean more job creation and more economic activity -- which is exactly what we need right now. The Administration has based its analyses on more modest assumptions that are in line with those several independent forecasters – Republican and Democrat alike.

We should have an open discussion about these analytical issues.

We cannot afford to play political games with apples-to-oranges comparisons. Such political gamesw distract our attention from the magnitude of the substantive task at hand.


Romer and her husband examined macroeconomics effects of different tax policies from different eras. Their study was never meant to be a blueprint for stimulus. The question remains: where did Republicans get the magic number of 6.2 million jobs?

Labels: , , , ,