Europe is in serious trouble. Why? The evil right wing austerity nutjobs. They continue to drastically cut spending to draconian levels (and hike taxes, but ignore that). These immense spending cuts that have taken Europe back to the middle ages—crushing their economies and risking the lives of millions or something.
In France, the people finally put a real socialist in office, as opposed to those near-socialists who were in office before—promising an end to austerity.
Nobel Prize winner economist, Paul Krugman even warned that these horrible consequences of austerity measures could come here:
“Mitt Romney is saying basically that spending cuts are how we’re going to get to prosperity. Mitt Romney is saying, see what’s happening in Greece and in Portugal and in Spain and in Ireland; let’s do that here.”
How terrible! Sure, it sounds horrific. But, imagine what the cuts in spending must be like to evoke those reactions. That’s even more scarier!!!!!!!! The mostest scariest!!!!
The way the media talks about it, European spending levels have fallen off like the stock market crash of 1929!
Actually, the European spending chart isn’t quite as dramatic as you might expect. Remember—according to Krugman and the left, Europe has experienced dramatic spending cuts. Here’s the truth:
Be sure to read more from economist Veronique de Rugy here, and her further destruction of Paul Krugman’s response here.
But, it’s amazing to stop and think about this stuff every once in a while. We’re told that Europe has experienced massive spending cuts. Yet, the only country to cut spending at all was Greece, who cut it all of 8% in three years. Spain hiked its spending by 4%, the UK hiked it by 8%, Italy hiked it by 3%, and France hiked it by 9%. And they raised taxes on top of it, something no one on the right is actually advocating.
To every household on earth, cutting spending means actually spending less than you were previously. Only in the media does a 9% increase actually mean a decrease. And we wonder why we’re so screwed.
There is nothing that reminds me that the sun has come up and we have entered another day like a democrat complaining about millionaires. We’ve all come to expect the constant refrain of rich bashing whenever democrats feel the need to deflect from their job performance. This is an expected and accepted part of American heritage at this point.
The most visible example of this idiocy recently is the Obama campaign’s singling out of Romney donors, aka the enemies list. We’ve come to a point where the President of the United States is comfortable naming rich people, using some variant of the “less-than-reputable” accusation, and acting as if that makes their political enemies into enemies of the state.
But, lost in this rich person vilification is the truth. That President Obama is President today because of his insanely large financial advantage over John McCain in 2008.
Imagine the balls you have to possess to seriously accuse Republicans of having too many millionaire donors and abusing the campaign finance system when you are President precisely because you outspent your opponent by over $500 million dollars. I had forgotten the gap was that ridiculous, and other outside spending surely cushioned it, but Obama outraised McCain $771 million to $239 million.
In reality, McCain managed to only raise $154 million before matching funds, which I dare say is insanely pathetic. If nothing else, that should shut up every GOP insider when they say we should choose the least inspiring most moderate republican in the race every four years. At least those evil tea party extremist bastards can raise money.
On the other side, Obama broke his promise to take federal matching funds , broke his promise to hire lobbyists and other power players, and embraced the big money donors he vilifies.
Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, media mogul Fred Eychaner, Pfizer executive Sally Susman, Stoneyfield Farms president and CEO Gary Hirschberg, and Microsoft executives Suzi Levine and John Frank. Several have each raised more than half a million dollars for 2012, according to estimates provided by Obama’s campaign.
We know that Barack Obama’s relationship to the truth can occasionally be a bit distant.
But have you been able to trace the lies? Today’s question is—How does the president really feel about being named Barack Hussein Obama in America?
A) Think the American people are such hate mongers that they will ignore his incredible job performance because they are so uncomfortable with someone with a different sounding name?
B) Think America is the land of opportunity, and his parents specifically gave him a different sounding name because the American people simply don’t care about such surface issues?
C) Think his parents believed the country couldn’t handle a name as different as Barack, so they changed it to help him fit in?
But, guess what—if you answered C—you’re right too!
In his book, Dreams from my Father, he described how he didn’t use the name Barack because his parents wanted him to “fit in.”
“So why does everybody call you Barry?” “Habit, I guess. My father used it when he arrived in the States. I don’t know whether that was his idea or somebody else’s. He probably used Barry because it was easier to pronounce. You know—helped him fit in. Then it got passed on to me. So I could fit in.” (pg.104)
You see, when Obama is President—everyone truly is a winner. Re-elect President Obama—if for no other reason—so he has time to work his name into Gerald Ford’s biography.
Pennsylvania – gay marriage favored 52-37, another shows the opposite 51-38 opposed
Wisconsin – polling is mixed here as well, one poll shows marriage at minus 6, one shows it at plus 2, another shows it at minus 20, which seems way out of line with the others.
So, what is the result of all that? In 2008, Obama beat McCain in electoral votes 359-179. If you give Romney the one Nebraska electoral vote Obama snagged, and move the states that Obama’s new position hurts him significantly while keeping everything else the same—Romney wins the electoral vote 282-256. However, that includes a highly questionable win for Romney in Michigan. It also includes a complete sweep, with no states bucking the trend, and essentially no room for error whatsoever.
But don’t worry your pretty little head with that. Instead, enjoy the colorful beauty of a Romney victory…
Many of you are familiar with my Ron Paul baby conspiracy theory, which goes a little something like this:
–Ron Paul doesn’t care about the Republican Party. (He actually held a press conference including the Green Party candidate in 2008 to encourage people to avoid voting for the D or the R.)
–Ron Paul doesn’t think there’s much of a difference between Republicans and Democrats, therefore he doesn’t see a Mitt Romney victory over Barack Obama as all that important.
–Ron Paul is old and isn’t running for congress anymore. This is essentially his last political act.
–Ron Paul obviously is not winning the Republican nomination, but will still raise a lot of money.
–Ron Paul never completely rules out a third party run.
–Ron Paul will drop out of the Republican race at the last minute, walk into the Libertarian convention, and run as their presidential candidate.
I call it my baby conspiracy theory, because I have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that it was going to happen, and I have to stretch on certain aspects of the theory, while ignoring some other evidence to make it work. In other words, I don’t take it that seriously.
But, I do think it could happen, and would essentially hand the presidency to Barack Obama for four more years. Some people have suggested that Paul might wind up running as an independent, but the ballot access rules make an independent run such a pain, that I don’t think he’d go that route. On the other hand, the Libertarian Party offers ballot access in close to 50 states automatically. It also offers a convention format that would basically allow him to stroll in whenever he wants and become the nominee, assuming he could win a vote among hardcore libertarian activists.(Is there even a question he’d win that?)
As his last major political act, I think Paul could quite likely believe that introducing his ideas on a stage bigger than ever before could be worth the political hits he’d take. Could he win? No, but he could get in the debates, and perform as well as any third party candidate since Perot. That might be enough for him. (The only thing really stopping this would be fear for his son Rand’s career. Republicans will surely punish him, fair or not, if daddy goes down this road.)
Well, luckily—the faint highlight of a conspiracy theory is beginning to fade. This weekend is the Libertarian convention. So, if Monday’s news is not littered with reports of a Ron Paul third party candidacy—we’ve dodged that mythical bullet.
According to some correspondence with Libertarian Party insiders, Ron Paul would have to make his move in the next couple of days, collect his tokens (that’s how they vote), and then win the nomination Saturday. If not, they pick somebody else like Gary Johnson, and Ron is left to try to influence the GOP platform at the convention and leave the long term message tied to his son Rand.
I watched the Libertarian convention last year, and I assume it will be on CSPAN again this weekend. It is an interesting event to say the least. Check it out, and see if Mitt Romney clears his most immediate hurdle on the way to the White House. Conspiracy theorists unite!
Yes, it’s the move we’ve all been waiting for. It’s become an American tradition: you gather with your friends for a barbecue and the conversation inevitably strays to the unfairness of the sentencing of those convicted of child porn.
“Those penalties for watching child porn are just too harsh! Who’s with me? Pass the macaroni salad.”
It’s amazing, but true. This is the opinion of the legal community at the moment. They apparently believe that the problem with Congress is that they keep on increasing the penalty for being caught with child porn. How horrific.
…federal judges and public defenders say repeated moves by Congress to toughen the penalties over the past 25 years have badly skewed the guidelines, to the point where offenders who possess and distribute child pornography can go to prison for longer than those who actually rape or sexually abuse a child.
What is their argument? It actually seems legitimate on the surface—people who get caught watching child porn are sometimes receiving sentences that are longer than those who are actually molesting children. Obviously, both crimes are hideous—but I don’t know if there’s anyone out there who thinks people watching the child porn should be in jail longer than the people creating it.
…the average sentence for a federal child pornography offense in 2010 was higher than all other offenses except murder and kidnapping. Indeed, the average was about six months higher than for sexual abuse offenders.
This, however, is where common sense leaves the conversation. There are two ways to right this situation:
A) Make the sentences of child molesters longer.
B) Make the sentences of child pornography connoisseurs shorter.
Guess which one they want to do? If you guessed B, then you know America!
In a 2010 survey of federal judges by the Sentencing Commission, about 70 percent said the proposed ranges of sentences for possession and receipt of child pornography were too high. Demonstrating their displeasure, federal judges issued child porn sentences below the guidelines 45 percent of the time in 2010, more than double the rate for all other crimes.
Troy Stabenow, an assistant federal public defender in Missouri, said the judges’ resistance to the sentencing guidelines was “pretty courageous,”
“They’re doing it knowing they’re likely be lambasted in the media,” he said. “They wouldn’t be doing it unless they really believe a lot of typical offenders they see are not the menace that people assume they are.”
Allow me to lambaste. I agree, you should go to jail longer for sexually abusing a minor, than downloading a picture of it. But, the issue here is not that child porn users are punished too harshly. It’s that child molesters are punished far too leniently. From An Inconvenient Book , page 181
“Three years, that’s how long the average convicted child molester spends in prison. They receive an average of a seven year sentence, but only three of those years are actually spent in jail.”
Three years? Seriously? Make that thirty years (or forever) instead, and magically those child porn sentences start looking a lot more reasonable. Instead we’re looking to rebrand pedophiles as “minor-attracted” individuals ” and whining about the trials and tribulations of your neighborhood child porn viewer.
Congress sucks, utterly and completely. But increasing the penalties on child molesters is not the area they deserve criticism in.
Yes, the Obama campaign just happened to buy an ad on the NY Times website. And yes, they just happened to use Michelle Obama’s face in the commercial. And yes, the placement is random. And yes, the odds of Michelle Obama’s smiling face in an advertisement at the top of a story disproving her main work as first lady, is just plain unlucky.
Last night, the US Senate voted on a piece of legislation that was based on a tax return none of us have seen. The tax return of a direct employee of one of the President’s biggest supporters. The White House refers to the Buffett Rule over 17,000 times.
Buffet’s secretary was used as a prop at the State of the Union address.
Yet, no one in the media demands to see the only tax return in America that we are currently trying to base federal policy on. #ReleaseTheReturn.
Regardless, as you’ve told the media breathlessly going back years and years—“Mr Buffett said that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made last year, without trying to avoid paying higher taxes, while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent.”
#ReleaseTheReturn showing your secretary paid 30% on $60K. I dare you. You know you are lying.
So, as you might be aware, Obamacare is in a bit of trouble because it’s …you know…blatantly unconstitutional. Apparently it’s not just crazy conspiracy theorist tea partiers who believe that, judging by the Supreme Court. Here is an extensive highlight reel of what happened in the biggest day of arguments, about the constitutionality of the individual mandate, packaged in easy to chew, bite sized chunks.
CLIP 1: Verilli, The guy arguing for Obamacare starts off on a miserable note, stuttering, pausing, coughing and reaching for a drink of water. An awkward way to start to say the least. It’s hard to defend the indefensible, you know.
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CLIP 2: Alito asks why the government wouldn’t also be able to mandate burial insurance if the Obamacare mandate stands. Everyone needs a casket or to get cremated, so why not?
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CLIP 3: Kagan argues that since we know most people will need health insurance, the government can mandate that people buy it. The anti-Obamacare side responds, saying this gives Congress power to regulate anyone with any statistical connection with a problem.
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CLIP 4: Kennedy says that since Obamacare is a further reach than anything else in history, the government has a high burden to try and justify it.
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CLIP 5: This is probably the most encouraging clip if you want Obamacare overturned. Justice Kennedy is likely the swing vote. He accuses the government of trying to fundamentally change the entire relationship of government and the individual.
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CLIP 6: If clip 5 is the most encouraging clip, this is the second most. Kennedy asks if there are any limits under the commerce clause. In other words, can the government make you buy anything if this thing goes through?
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Clip 7: If clip 5 and 6 are the most encouraging—this is the most worrisome. Here is Kennedy seemingly entertaining the idea that the health care market actually IS unique. Therefore, maybe it’s worth making an exception for it. My biggest worry is that Kennedy is looking for a way to say “I’ll let you have the individual mandate this time, but I won’t let you get away with this stuff again.”
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CLIP 8: Scalia asks a question that should never have to be asked: can you create commerce just to regulate it? Any sensible person would say no. The Obama administration says not buying insurance, still includes you in the insurance market. This is nothing but legalistic insanity via justification.
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CLIP 9: Great stuff from Scalia. “Could you define the market that everyone has to buy food, therefore everyone has to buy broccoli?” The response to all of these questions seems to be – “Of course that very similar situation is ridiculous, but Obamacare slightly differs, so it’s okay.”
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CLIP 10: Scalia fundamentally destroys the entire concept of the argument. Bottom line—whether it’s a good idea or not, it violates the Constitution. The government is supposed to have limited powers. If the government can do this, what can’t it do?
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CLIP 11: The government tries to argue that this isn’t really unprecedented, because the court has upheld the commerce clause before. Scalia points out that all of his examples actually involved commerce. You’ll notice a pattern here. The crux of this entire case is that conservatives believe if you don’t buy health insurance, you’re not participating in the health insurance market. Liberals believe if you don’t buy health insurance, you are participating in the health insurance market. I’ll leave it up to you to rule on which one of those sounds right.
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CLIP 12: Sotomayor argues that this is just like tax credits on solar panels.
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CLIP 13: The government argues that people without insurance are screwing those people who have it. The truth is, most of those people are young and healthy. Alito points that out with stats—the average person in this group will pay $5800 for insurance, and will only use $850 of actual health services. That’s just handing money to insurance companies.
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CLIP 14: The government is faced with a tough argument: you’re forcing people to buy insurance for things they can’t possibly use. For example, some people will never have use for pediatric or maternity care. Yet, the government tells them they must be covered for it.
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CLIP 15: In a moment of apparent dementia, the government claims that the similar plan in Massachusetts has actually worked. In reality, since it’s passage there have been almost $9 billion in extra costs, with the state of Massachusetts only paying about $400 million of it. Wait times are the highest in the nation, costs have been increasing at about 6% per year, and all of this cost in quality and dollars has led to less than 5% of the state gaining coverage. Oh yeah, and 5 times as many people wait until they get sick, buy coverage, get treated, and then cancel the coverage afterwards.
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CLIP 16: This is one of my favorite points. Over and over again the liberal argument revolved around “cost shifting.” If I don’t buy health insurance, then I’ll go to the hospital and everyone else will have to pick up the tab. But, why will everyone else have to pick up the tab? Because of other government rulesrequiring them to do so. So the government is the CAUSE of the cost shifting in the first place. The liberal justices go to great lengths to say that they can’t force people to buy cars for example. But, if the congress separately passed a bill that said everyone must have access to a car when they really need it—they could. At least under the argument you’re about to hear destroyed.
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CLIP 17: This one is a little longer, but it’s interesting. If you don’t buy a car, that has ramifications on others. Dealership owners, workers, etc. But, no one would argue that not buying a car puts you in the car buyer market.
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CLIP 18: Even if Obamacare was the best thing ever, it is still unconstitutional. Even if there was a wonder drug that cured every disease—you couldn’t force people to take it. The point about foreign nations is brilliant. And…stick around for the Kagan cut off, right as he is about to put her away.