Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Chattering Monkeys

1. Amen, Paul Krugman. Marry me.
Update: I see this link now takes you to that page that makes you sign up and stuff.
For all you proles that don't do that sort of thing (and by "you" I mean "me"), the
article is entitled Forgive and Forget? and it's good, as usual. Here's my synopsis:
-Hey, Mr. Hope and Change, investigate and prosecute Wrong-doers. It was a big
mistake to NOT do that after Iran/Contra, as those same dooshes just continued
their ride in the limo of Wrong-doingness once they procured their new hood
ornament, " W". Partisanship, shmartisanship. Rule of law, bitchez.-
I would like to add that my pick for special prosecutor is Vince Bugliosi.
I have so few opinions on the subject. Mhm.

2. This is pretty kewl. Great scenery, too.

3. It was a part of this show. Historian Simon Schama on Bill Moyers.
He's got some fancy pants 4 part series on BBCAmerica starting on Jan. 19.
The American Future: A History.
Watch it or be doomed.

4. I love the Thom Hartmann show. Every Friday, he has my favorite Senator,
Bernie Sanders (even though I'm not from Vermont) taking phone calls from
listeners during the first hour. Then, during the second hour, we usually get to
hear from Dr. Ravi Batra, who has been right about, well, everything to do with this
current Greenspanocolypse kerfluffle that threatens to turn us all into hobos.
I am currently wading through this piece of his. Some light weekend reading.

5. The Sustainable Table has some most excellent features that you may enjoy.
If nothing else, go over there and watch the Meatrix. Or else.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Wow, that sure was easy to get your attention.
And now that I've been ultra clever and done just that, I'd like to point you to John Nichols article entitled Single-Payer Health Care Would Stimulate the Economy.

"There is an unhealthy tendency on the part of politicians and journalists to see discussions about economic recovery and health care reform as separate debates.

In fact, one of the most important steps on the road to economic recovery – or, more precisely, toward a new, responsible and sustainable prosperity – involves the fundamental reform this country's broken health care system.

But it must be the right reform: the establishment of a national single-payer style healthcare reform system by expanding the existing Medicare system to cover all Americans. According to a new "Single Payer/Medicare for All: An Economic Stimulus Plan for the Nation" study released today by the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association, such a reform would provide a major stimulus for the U.S. economy by creating 2.6 million new jobs and infusing $317 billion in new business and public revenues into the economy. This reform would, according to the study, add $100 billion in wages to the currently sputtering U.S. economy."

It's a succinct article laying it all out.
You can also become more informed about H.R. 676, which is the House bill mentioned, at

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tax Hikes Are Patriotic, Richie Rich

Larry Beinhart has written so many interesting things, but his recent
Time For Tax Hikes really hits the nail on the head in timely fashion.

"U.S. economic growth has been strongest when our taxes have been high. During World War II, then under Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy, our upper marginal tax rates were between 88%-92%. Read those numbers again. They are astonishingly high. Those were our strongest growth years.

I never expected to say this. Pelosi's right, Obama's wrong.

Do keep in mind that we are talking about higher taxes on the richest members of society, the very richest. So unless you're among that elite group, don't panic for personal reasons. Keep in mind, also, that we are speaking only of income taxes.

You have certainly heard, several thousand times, that tax cuts lead to economic growth. That's not true. Moderate tax cuts lead to a flat economy. (The Johnson tax cuts, usually misnamed the Kennedy tax cuts, lead to 16 years of virtually no growth.)

Large tax cuts are followed by a boom in the financial sector, a bubble, and a crash. Then a recession or depression with massive bank failures. This has happened three times, in the 1920s, under Reagan, and under George W. Bush.

During a depression or recession, the point where taxes are increased marks the point when the economy begins its recovery: 1932 under Hoover, Roosevelt's second round of tax hikes in 1940, the first president Bush's tax hike, followed by the Clinton tax hike. (The one exception: Roosevelt's tax hike of 1936, which was accompanied by cuts in government spending.)

The next time we experienced strong growth -- not just in the fiscal sector, across the entire economy -- was after the Clinton tax hikes. Why do tax hikes lead to strong economic growth?"

I know y'alls miss Actor212's giant...brain re the economics and such.
In lieu of that, to keep the DT's from setting in, read the rest of Larry's article.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

FTW, Snark-wise: The Beast

Here is the BuffaloBeast's 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2008.
It is teh funny times 50.
11. Rush Limbaugh

Charges: The father of modern stupidity, Limbaugh spins reflexively, never struggling with issues, because he knows his conclusion must favor Republicans, and his only task is finding a way to get there. In other words, he may or may not actually believe what he’s saying, but it’s beside the point. His job is not to say what he thinks, but to instruct his listeners on what they should think. If the facts don’t agree, he can always change them, as his “ditto heads” are already armed against the contrary evidence with the all-purpose “liberal bias” attack. “Rush is right,” as the slogan goes, and all those nerdy reporters in the “drive by media” are lying, because they secretly love terrorists. It’s this creepily worshipful, breathtakingly infantile abdication of intellect to a blatantly dishonest hypocrite that makes Limbaugh’s audience so goddamn sad. These pathetic, insecure, failures of men look to Rush as the champion of their impotent rage, helping them to externalize responsibility for their own deficiencies, pinning the blame on those darn liberals and their racial and gender equality.

Exhibit A: You have to marvel at the sheer ignominy of someone who coins the term “Obama recession” two days after the election.

Sentence: Tiny speaker implanted in his inner ear which blares Randi Rhodes 24-7.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Thumbper Files: Ok, What? Division

In this installment, we discover how certain creatures have figured out how to escape being trapped with any one human, for a lifetime.
An hour or two at a time can be just enough.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I'm really pissed about something: politicians lie.

OK, that's a man-bites-dog story if I've ever heard one but let me continue.

All politicians lie, it's true. Indeed, all politicians lie most of the time or at least hedge the truth with truthiness.

That doesn't bother me. I don't really want to know what's going on behind the scenes for most things until the public roll out happens. Too many details, too much information and then you'd have people arguing about how they didn't know, as opposed to why they didn't know.

Like I don't need to know wiring to appreciate electricity, I don't need to know the processes behind most legislation and administration.

Here's the thing, tho. We've just come out of eight years of the most egregious lying in the history of America, and that's pissing me off. Why? Because it makes Barack Obama look stupid, is why.

Bill Clinton lied. Indeed, he was the consummate liar of both stripes: the lies I can live with and the lies I hate. When Clinton was in his element, say with encouraging Congress to pass legislation, his lies were spot on, and again, I could live with not being told something was going on when indeed something was going on.

Clinton, when he was out of his element, like with the Lewinski scandal, was a horrible liar. He was out of his comfort zone. Rather than not revealing truths, he was forced to deny the truth. Those are the lies, I think, most people get offended by.

Bush et al, took this to a brand new level. Under the guise of hiding the truth, in reality, people like Cheney and Gonzalez, Libby and Rove ended up bald-faced lying to us. For eight years!

In the end, I think part of Bush's horrendous polling numbers was a direct function of this: there's only so much that Americans will put up with before screaming "ENOUGH!"

Now, to Barack Obama. I've read a little of his stimulus package. I know there's dissembling in there, of course. For one thing, it has to be based on last year's budget numbers and last year's budget numbers are not the whole truth, to be sure. In most places, it will be worse than the budget tells us. In some, better.

Here's the thing, though. The first lie, white or black, that Obama is caught up in will be magnified and turned into a major crisis of confidence. Just look at how the Richardson withdrawal played out in the MSM: Obama misstepped.

No, he didn't. He can't be blamed because Richardson flat out lied, except to the extent that his vetting team fell flat on its face. For that, he needs to take responsibility, but not to me. I don't care. I expected it, in fact.

No, I'm talking about the first lie in his numbers, which of course are inaccurate as I've just outlined. The hue and cry will be awful.

Bush lowered the bar for many things in the Presidency: accountability, humility, communication, bipartisanship (remember how he would work with Dems?).

But in this, in honesty, there might be the greatest tragedy of all his failures and flaws.

For that, he must never be forgotten or forgiven.