Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Trillion Dollar Fraudsters

Republicans are reaching for new moral lows, kicking the poor harder.  If the GOP's real goal is simply to enrich the already-rich, then they are doing a great job. And the vast majority of Americans suffer, but they don't care. I think they like seeing people suffer. That would explain a lot.

Trillion Dollar Fraudsters

by Paul Krugman
By now it’s a Republican Party tradition: Every year the party produces a budget that allegedly slashes deficits, but which turns out to contain a trillion-dollar “magic asterisk” — a line that promises huge spending cuts and/or revenue increases, but without explaining where the money is supposed to come from.

But the just-released budgets from the House and Senate majorities break new ground. Each contains not one but two trillion-dollar magic asterisks: one on spendingone on revenue. And that’s actually an understatement. If either budget were to become law, it would leave the federal government several trillion dollars deeper in debt than claimed, and that’s just in the first decade.

You might be tempted to shrug this off, since these budgets will not, in fact, become law. Or you might say that this is what all politicians do. But it isn’t. The modern G.O.P.’s raw fiscal dishonesty is something new in American politics. And that’s telling us something important about what has happened to half of our political spectrum.

So, about those budgets: both claim drastic reductions in federal spending. Some of those spending reductions are specified: There would be savage cuts in food stamps, similarly savage cuts in Medicaid over and above reversing the recent expansion, and an end to Obamacare’s health insurance subsidies. Rough estimates suggest that either plan would roughly double the number of Americans without health insurance. But both also claim more than a trillion dollars in further cuts to mandatory spending, which would almost surely have to come out of Medicare or Social Security. What form would these further cuts take? We get no hint.

Meanwhile, both budgets call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, including the taxes that pay for the insurance subsidies. That’s $1 trillion of revenue. Yet both claim to have no effect on tax receipts; somehow, the federal government is supposed to make up for the lost Obamacare revenue. How, exactly? We are, again, given no hint.

And there’s more: The budgets also claim large reductions in spending on other programs. How would these be achieved? You know the answer.

It’s very important to realize that this isn’t normal political behavior. The George W. Bush administration was no slouch when it came to deceptive presentation of tax plans, but it was never this blatant. And the Obama administration has been remarkably scrupulous in its fiscal pronouncements.

O.K., I can already hear the snickering, but it’s the simple truth. Remember all the ridicule heaped on the spending projections in the Affordable Care Act? Actual spending is coming in well below expectations, and the Congressional Budget Office has marked its forecast for the next decade down by 20 percent. Remember the jeering when President Obama declared that he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term? Well, a sluggish economy delayed things, but only by a year. The deficit in calendar 2013 was less than half its 2009 level, and it has continued to fall.

So, no, outrageous fiscal mendacity is neither historically normal nor bipartisan. It’s a modern Republican thing. And the question we should ask is why.

One answer you sometimes hear is that what Republicans really believe is that tax cuts for the rich would generate a huge boom and a surge in revenue, but they’re afraid that the public won’t find such claims credible. So magic asterisks are really stand-ins for their belief in the magic of supply-side economics, a belief that remains intact even though proponents in that doctrine have been wrong about everything for decades.

But I’m partial to a more cynical explanation. Think about what these budgets would do if you ignore the mysterious trillions in unspecified spending cuts and revenue enhancements. What you’re left with is huge transfers of income from the poor and the working class, who would see severe benefit cuts, to the rich, who would see big tax cuts. And the simplest way to understand these budgets is surely to suppose that they are intended to do what they would, in fact, actually do: make the rich richer and ordinary families poorer.

But this is, of course, not a policy direction the public would support if it were clearly explained. So the budgets must be sold as courageous efforts to eliminate deficits and pay down debt — which means that they must include trillions in imaginary, unexplained savings.

Does this mean that all those politicians declaiming about the evils of budget deficits and their determination to end the scourge of debt were never sincere? Yes, it does.

Look, I know that it’s hard to keep up the outrage after so many years of fiscal fraudulence. But please try. We’re looking at an enormous, destructive con job, and you should be very, very angry.

Monday, March 30, 2015

clean up

Just throwing a few things out there that have been taking up space on my computer.  Lots of issues.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Jesus & Mo

We just don't celebrate Easter like we used to! Fortunately.  (Click the toon if you cannot read it - go here if you need to)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Cruz jokes

And now a few words from the professional jokesters about professional joke Ted Cruz.

"Texas Senator Ted Cruz officially announced that he's running for president. Cruz said that after doing exhaustive research to see if he had a real chance to win, he said, 'I'm gonna run anyway.'" –Jimmy Fallon

"Republican Ted Cruz announced that he will run for president in 2016. So finally, Carnival
is no longer the most dangerous cruise in America." –Jimmy Fallon

"Yesterday presidential candidate Ted Cruz said that he will in fact be signing up for Obamacare despite saying earlier that he wants to repeal every word of it. It's a good thing he's signing up, because Cruz just went to the hospital in hypocritical condition." –Jimmy Fallon

"After years of bashing Obamacare, tea party candidate Ted Cruz just signed up for it. And next week he plans to get gay married at Planned Parenthood." –Conan O'Brien

"Tea party candidate Ted Cruz, Republican senator from Texas, wants to be president. That means he's one step closer to being a Fox News analyst." –David Letterman

"We have Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham all running for president. It's all part of the Republican plan to make Jeb Bush look presidential." –David Letterman

"Texas senator and tea party favorite Ted Cruz announced he's running for president. He pledged to lead America boldly forward into the 1950s." –Conan O'Brien

"Ted Cruz released a presidential campaign video in Spanish. Cruz explained, "It's important for me to reach out to the people I'm trying to deport." –Conan O'Brien

"People are questioning if Ted Cruz can legally run for president because he was born in Canada. And the last thing we want to do is pave the way for a President Bieber." –Conan O'Brien

"Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced he is running for president. Ted Cruz was born in Canada, his father fled to the United States from Cuba, and yet Ted Cruz is against immigration. Isn't that odd?" –David Letterman

"Ted Cruz could be president of the United States. If you thought the Secret Service was drinking before…" –David Letterman

"The first known candidate to enter the presidential race in 2016 is Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Announcing your candidacy before everyone else does is kind of like being the first celebrity to show up on the red carpet at the Oscars. It's not a great thing." –Jimmy Kimmel

"Senator Ted Cruz has officially announced that he is running for president. But if you see a T-shirt that says 'Ted Cruz 2016,' those aren’t election shirts. That’s just how old he thinks the Earth is." –Seth Meyers

"Republican Congressman Peter King called Ted Cruz a carnival barker. That is such an insult to carnival barkers. " –David Letterman

"Ted Cruz said today that if elected president, he'll tell the truth and do what he said he'd do. And guys, I know we've been burned 44 times on this, but I have a good feeling about this guy." –Seth Meyers

"Ted Cruz is the first official candidate for the 2016 presidential election. As history has shown, the first declared candidate always goes on to win the election — except in 2012, 2008, 2004, 2000, 1996, 1992, 1988, 1984, 1980, 1976, 1972, 1968, 1964, 1960, 1956…" –David Letterman

"Ted Cruz, of course, was furious that the big storm back east shut down the government. He said, 'That my job!' But you know, there is a big difference between Ted Cruz and snow. Both are white and everyone’s sick of them – but eventually snow goes away." –Bill Maher

"President Obama said the day after the budget deal is made he's going to concentrate on immigration. He says he'll start by deporting Ted Cruz." –Conan O'Brien

"There were some people heckling Ted Cruz, and he accused them of being paid political operatives helping President Obama. Ted, don't you get it, you're the paid political operative helping President Obama." –Bill Maher

"Senator Ted Cruz was born in Canada, so while we were worried about Iran, China, and North Korea, a Canadian shut down the U.S. Government. Well played, Canada." -Seth Meyers

"After 16 days the government shutdown is over. Right now a devastated Ted Cruz is filibustering a squirrel on the lawn of the Capitol building." –Jimmy Kimmel

"Senator Ted Cruz announced he's donating his paycheck during the shutdown to charity. Well, the charity is called Ted Cruz for President." –Conan O'Brien

"Ted Cruz reminds me of Miley Cyrus because he is not afraid to incur the wrath of even some of his fans for the greater good of drawing attention to himself. I really think a filibuster is the political version of 'twerking.'" –Bill Maher

"Texas Sen. Ted Cruz gave a 21-hour speech on the floor of the Senate during which he read Dr. Seuss' 'Green Eggs and Ham,' did an impression of Darth Vader, and admitted his love for White Castle. I'm not sure what Cruz's speech was arguing for, but I'm guessing legalizing weed." –Seth Meyers

"We are actually headed toward a government shutdown, but if that's what it takes to get Ted Cruz off my TV, I am all for it." –Bill Maher

"Ted Cruz talked for 21 hours in a fake filibuster, or as I call it, the vagina monologue. 21 hours? I kept saying, 'Where is Kanye West when you need him?'" –Bill Maher

"This Ted Cruz guy, he incurred the wrath of his own party. They don't like him. Democrats hate him. Independents hate him. Republicans hate him. Even Miley Cyrus -- he's the one guy she refuses to lick." –Bill Maher

"How about that senator from Texas, Ted Cruz. He gets a hold of the microphone on the floor of the Senate and he starts yakking for 21 hours. I'm telling you, that government shutdown certainly looks pretty good now, doesn't it?" –David Letterman

"At one point Ted Cruz takes out 'Green Eggs and Ham.' He reads a kiddy book. The message he was sending there, I think, is that Obamacare will only cover visits to Dr. Seuss." –David Letterman

"So to express your opposition to Obamacare, you go to the book about a stubborn jerk who decides he hates something before he’s tried it, and when he finally gets a taste, he has to admit after he’s tasted it, 'This is pretty f**king good.'" –Jon Stewart on Sen. Ted Cruz reading Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham" on the Senate floor

"Well, that's easy for you to take that kind of physical risk – you've got government health care." –Jon Stewart on Ted Cruz speaking for 21 hours

"Texas Senator Ted Cruz began a filibuster on the Senate floor. He's trying to stop Obamacare and he vowed to keep speaking until he is no longer able to stand. And the good news: If he collapses from exhaustion he'll be covered under Obamacare." –Jay Leno

"The leader in this movement to defund Obamacare is Ted Cruz, the senator from Texas. He said, 'I will do anything and everything possible to defund Obamacare.' Really, how about lighting yourself on fire?" –Bill Maher

"Ted Cruz is half Canadian and half Cuban. The wit of Justin Bieber combined with the people skills of Scarface." –Bill Maher

"Hispanic Senator Ted Cruz, who is fighting the immigration bill, described himself as Obama-phobic. You know you have Obama phobia if you'll deport immigrants even though your last name is Cruz." –Conan O'Brien

Friday, March 27, 2015

Cruz memes

Let me repeat: we are not afraid of Ted Cruz running for President.  We are elated.  This guy is a target-rich environment.