Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rep. Weiner lashes other Democrats for timidity in defending Health Care

As Dana Milbank explains in the Washington Post, Anthony Weiner has forcefully defended the new health care act—this is the one year anniversary. And he has criticized his Democratic colleagues for not defending it more forcefully. But the President has to lead on this. Why is he not out front rebutting Republican lies? Here is the link to Weiner's speech before the Center for American Progress on Health Care.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ezra Klein exposes RepubliCON hypocrisy on deficit

Ezra Klein exposes Republicon hypocrisy on the deficit. Their first priority is not raising any taxes of the rich. (Scroll down to the third item in the link.) At this point the issue is not RepubliCON lies and hypocrisy, but how to expose and discredit what they are doing. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

5% surtax on millionaires would eliminate need for RepubliCON cuts-Sen. Saunders

Will Obama come out for this? Here are Sen. Saunders and Gov. Rendel on how Democrats should "stand up for core principles." Great question from the journalist: "Why do Democrats lose the 'framing battle?'"

Monday, March 7, 2011

Now is the time for Obama to stand up and say, I will veto this!

As 60 minutes last night documented, heartrendingly, the rate of child poverty in the US will soon reach 25%, the highest since the depression. And the RepubliCONs want to cut needed programs for children, as says in an article. Isn't this the time for Obama to stand up and say: "I will veto any RepubliCON attack on the well being of our children! Let the rich pay, and the children eat!

Why the Old Adage "Seeing Is Believing" Is Wrong

One of the remarkable aspects of the fierce "conservative-liberal" debate that is so disturbing today is the frequent reliance upon ideology rather than fact. More disturbing still (as folks like Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolution pointed out decades ago), recognizing "anomalies" or findings that are inconsistent with your theory is an incredibly hard thing for any true believer to acknowledge.

Thus, followers of Aristotle, found it heretical to believe (like the Copernicans) that the sun and the planets did not revolve around Mother Earth. Conservative, free-marketers similarly find it heretical to believe in any structural explanation for the massive levels of unemployment (Certainly this is an anomaly from the standpoint of "individual responsibility" it's hard to explain how 9-10% of the economically active population suddenly "got lazy" or failed to yank harder on their bootstraps). Certainly it's hard to recognize an anomaly like the impoverishing effect of our health care system (seen in rates of higher infant mortality, lower longevity, poorer health care outcomes) than in other industrialized nation states. Certainly it's hard to recognize the failure of "trickle-down" economic theory - when no one, with rare liberal exceptions, spotlights the consistently massive growth of wealth inequality in this country. And certainly, its hard to recognize that budget documents are moral documents as much as they are fiscal documents unless one is prepared to acknowledge that biblical teachings instruct us to favor the wealthy. In all of these cases, it's the tight prism of radically conservative ideology that prevails - even as the counterfactual universal grows larger and larger. For a good take on this conservative moral prism see Lakoff's blog

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

How to kill a recovery

Krugman does it again, prompting I think the first time I have posted twice in one day. Key points: "Last October, a comprehensive study by the International Monetary Fund concluded that “the idea that fiscal austerity stimulates economic activity in the short term finds little support in the data.” In other words the Republi-CON has no basis in reality.

The bottom line: "Republicans have managed to come up with spending cuts that would do double duty, both undermining America’s future and threatening to abort a nascent economic recovery."

The tale of how the RepubliCONs are turning us into a banana republic

Here in Mother Jones magazine is a great collection of charts documenting the extreme inequality that has been created since Reagan: the great Republi-Con. Why doesn't Obama do a TV special laying out these charts to make the case that we need to tax the rich, not cut needed spending? The case needs to be made, NOW, not in 12 months.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The fundamental Republi-CON lie, definitively refuted

In an important new article, reporter David Cay Johnston definitively refutes the Republi-CON with specific facts and figures: cutting taxes has not raised revenue or increased economic growth, as they constantly repeat as if a fundamental truth, when it is a fundamental lie.

The summary: " No matter how many times advocates of lower tax rates said it, tax rate cuts did not pay for themselves, did not spur economic growth, did not increase jobs, and did not make America better off.

Now that the news has been broken, let's see how many political leaders start speaking facts instead of fairy tales. And let's also watch to see how many Washington reporters, news anchors, talk show guests, and syndicated columnists use the actual figures. It's called holding politicians accountable, and it used to be a mainstay of journalism, where the first rule is to check it out and the second is to cross-check until you know what is going on and can give context."

Here's the PDF with the facts and figures.

Lies about compensation of government worker in Wisconsin

Via Miles Krasen. Reporter David Cay Johnston exposes the lies of the Governor of Wisconsin about state worker's pensions, in this fascinating interview. Most significant is that the media have by and large just swallowed the Governor's line. Here's the original article. His new one, even more important, I'll post shortly

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Forbidding lying in the news

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. writes that the effort in Canada to repeal a law forbidding lying in the news has collapsed. Apparently it has prevented Fox from moving into Canada. The repeal of the "fairness doctrine" by Reagan has, in retrospect, really had a damaging effect on American journalism. If we don't reinstate it, then surely we need something like the Canadian law. Journalists need to be held to a higher standard of responsibility for honesty than schoolyard or back fence gossip.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Losing the Future, the Republi-Con way

Paul Krugman takes a scary look at the dismal state of children in Texas—only 6 in 10 graduate high school, and they have the fewest percentage of children with health insurance. By not investing in children, Texas assures many of them a dismal future. Now we have like-minded folks running the House. Cut investment in children, and give the rich tax breaks. And they say that's good for the country. I really wonder how much they believe this stuff themselves.