Friday, January 26, 2007

Ted Kennedy unloads on the Greedy

From Schmidlap, we know that there are three types of Republicans, Evil, Greedy, and Stupid. It's probably some combination of the first two that has prevented the Senate from passing the minimum wage bill that the House passed very easily during the first 100 hours flurry. They killed it in a cloture vote (essentially, now everything takes 60 votes to pass), although they bitched to high heaven when the Dems did it when they were in the minority, and are now trying to add tons of amendments to it, just to make sure that rich people don't, you know, incur any actual costs or anything.

Ted Kennedy's sick of it, and he's letting people know (thanks to Bob Geiger for the story):

"We have now had amendments that have been worth over 200 billion dollars… Amendments that have been offered. We've had amendments on education of 35 billion dollars. We've had health-savings amendments that will benefit people with average incomes of $112,000… We've had those kinds of amendments and we're looking at the Kyl amendment at 3 billion dollars. But we still cannot get two dollars and fifteen cents -- over two years. Over two years!

"What is the price, we ask the other side? What is the price that you want from these working men and women? What cost? How much more do we have to give to the private sector and to business? How many billion dollars more, are you asking, are you requiring?

"When does the greed stop, we ask the other side? That's the question and that's the issue."

"Make no mistake about it -- they have on the Republican side, 70 more amendments. 70 more amendments!" said Kennedy. "We have none. We're prepared to vote now. 70 more amendments… 'Oh yes, we want an increase in the minimum wage, we want this, we want that but… let's have some other kinds of amendments that have virtually nothing to do with this.'"

"240 billion dollars in tax breaks for corporations. 36 billion dollars in tax breaks for small businesses. Increase in productivity -- 42 percent over the last 10 years," yelled Kennedy emotionally. "But do you think there's any increase in the minimum wage? No. At 12 after five today, on Thursday, I speak for all of our Democrats and say we're prepared to vote now. Now!"

"Do you have such disdain for hard-working Americans that you want to pile all your amendments on this? Why don’t you just hold your amendments until other pieces of legislation? Why this volume of amendments on just the issue to try and raise the minimum wage? What is it about it that drives you Republicans crazy? What is it? Something. Something! What is the price that the workers have to pay to get an increase? What is it about working men and women that you find so offensive?"

"We don’t want to hear any more from that side for the rest of this session about permitting or not permitting votes in here when you're denying it on the most simple concept of an increase in the minimum wage," said Kennedy. "We don’t want to hear any more about that."

"This is filibuster by delay and amendments. I've been around here long enough to know it when I see it and smell it, and that's what it looks like, that's what it is, make no mistake about it. Make no mistake about it."

Now, that's some real vitriol. Wait for the SCLM to hammer him for being uncivil.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

State of the Union Whack-a-Mole

First, we must balance the Federal budget. We can do so without raising taxes. What we need to do is impose spending discipline in Washington, D.C. We set a goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009 — and met that goal 3 years ahead of schedule. Now let us take the next step. In the coming weeks, I will submit a budget that eliminates the Federal deficit within the next 5 years. I ask you to make the same commitment. Together, we can restrain the spending appetite of the Federal Government, and balance the Federal budget. Next, there is the matter of earmarks. These special interest items are often slipped into bills at the last hour — when not even C-SPAN is watching. In 2005 alone, the number of earmarks grew to over 13,000 and totaled nearly $18 billion. Even worse, over 90 percent of earmarks never make it to the floor of the House and Senate — they are dropped into Committee reports that are not even part of the bill that arrives on my desk. You did not vote them into law. I did not sign them into law. Yet they are treated as if they have the force of law. The time has come to end this practice. So let us work together to reform the budget process … expose every earmark to the light of day and to a vote in Congress … and cut the number and cost of earmarks at least in half by the end of this session.

Hmm. Mr. President. where have you been for the last six years?
For the terrorists, life since 9/11 has never been the same.
You're absolutely right, since 9/11, it has been Terrorist-apalooza.
Our enemies are quite explicit about their intentions....By killing and terrorizing Americans, they want to force our country to retreat from the world and abandon the cause of liberty.
Hmmm, who are our enemies??? How are we advancing "liberty??"

We have said this many times here, but the basic fact is that this is NOT A WAR. There is nothing to be won or lost here as in a war. There is just an end, and a bad end at that.

Everyone's running for President!

Except John Kerry.

Stay in the Senate, John. I certainly won't miss you.

Repubicans hate poor people

Despite passing easily in the House, the Republicans in the Senate just can't keep their grubby hands to themselves, and have messed up an attempt to raise the minimum wage. The bill from the House was extremely simple, spelling out when and to what amount the minimum wage would be raised, and that's it. However, unless businesses get tax breaks (I know, shocking), the GOP doesn't believe that they should have to pay their workers a respectable wage.

Of course, they killed it in a cloture vote. What about an up and down vote, folks? What about those obstructionists in the other party?

Who cares about the poor, anyway - hell, can they even vote?

The Blogger and the Pea

There is so much to comment on from last night, so much fuzzy math and so many disconnects from reality. However it is the first and the smallest, the pea under oh so many mattresses, that is really bothering me. Perhaps I'm suffering from outrage overload on Iraq, or perchance I'm dumbstruck that this man with the popularity of open sores would dare broach funding religious schools or screwing up social security at this late date.

But no. Read the official transcript: "Some in this chamber are new to the House and Senate—and I congratulate the Democratic majority." But he didn't say that. He used the
Newt Gingrich-Frank Luntz "talking point" adjective, the DEMOCRAT majority. You see, they really aren't "democratic" and it rhymes with RAT--get it?

OK, back to business now, but that damned pea certainly does bother me.

(Note: See Joshua Holland over at Alternet for a thorough breakdown. Note in particular how Tony Snow described picking out the highlights of the speech as choosing among "a drawer full of diamonds." YACK.)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I don't know who's watching tonight

Link to the text (h/t Think Progress)

Who yelled "Whoo!" when W was introduced?

Health care? Higher fuel standards? Global climate change? Who does this guy think he is, a liberal?

What the hell is Cheney smirking at?

Oh, crap. 9/11. Time for whiskey.

Notice how he's gotten almost no applause at all about his 20k Tank Fodder approach?

This really is a painfully weak speech. He's not saying anything at all. Not the usual nothing, but really nothing. Even the "initiatives" are small time for a SotU. Not exactly what he needs to get a bounce.

Man, did he have to concentrate to say "Dikembe Mutombo".

Someone call Jack Nicholson. Laura stole his Joker mask.

That's it - if we have kids, I'm never buying them "Baby Einstein" stuff.

I'll give Wesley Autrey his props, though. That took some serious guts.


Will the Circle be Unbroken?

Will the Circle be Unbroken? Yup.

There is a god.

E, Howard Hunt dies on the day where Pat Fitzgerald comes out firing on Cheney, the man whose idiot daughter penned a ridiculous op-ed saying that our republic was in an “existential” struggle while der Chimpenfuhrer prepares an address that even Republicans don’t want to hear.

Indeed, there is a god. As former Chicago Bulls guard Jamaal Crawford once opined, things are coming to “fruitation.”

Monday, January 22, 2007

When in free fall, objects accelerate downward at a constant rate of 9.8 m/s/s

CBS News' latest poll has the Liar in Chief at a 28% approval rating.

Other presidents two years before their 2nd term was up?

Clinton in 99, after the impeachment (remember, he was hated and despised and ruined America) - 65%.

Reagan in 87, after Iran-Contra - 52%.

LBJ in 67, hip-deep in Vietnam - 47%.

Ike in 59 - 57%.

Where the hell were you people in November of 2004?

--UPDATE (by Rousing Rabble)--
Good Dr. Magoo didn't have access to my archives, but I have been able to find the approval rating of one other famous (well, infamous) American president who had his own war debacle

Jefferson Davis, 1865, after Appomattox - 29%

Meanwhile, back in Frostbite Falls

BAGHDAD (AP) — Twin bombings Monday tore through stalls of vendors selling second-hand clothes and DVDs in a busy Baghdad market catering to Shiite Muslims during a religious festival. A market also was attacked north of the capital, and police said nearly 100 people died in the renewed campaign blamed on Sunni Muslim insurgents.

Think about this for a minute. Nearly a hundred people dead in ONE DAY in ONE CITY. We have sown the wind, and are indeed reaping the whirlwind.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Having nothing to do with politics

Bear down, Chicago Bears
Make every play clear the way to victory;
Bear down, Chicago Bears
Put up a fight with a might so fearlessly.
We'll never forget the way you thrilled the nation
With your T-formation.
Bear down, Chicago Bears
And let them know why you're wearing the crown.
You're the pride and joy of Illinois
Chicago Bears, bear down!

In news you may have missed...

Sam Brownback (R-Kan)

announced the formation of an exploratory committee to prepare for a run for chancellor of Germany in 1933 on the National Socialist ticket president.

UPDATE: As mentioned in one of the comments, Rolling Stone did a feature story on Brownback a few years ago. It can be accessed on-line here. It is recommended reading on any number of levels. (Rousing Rabble)

For a Cubs fan, George Will is an idiot

Okay, maybe there's a dispute about that Cubs fan part. The second part, on the other hand, is an ever-growing truth. On This Week, this week, during the roundtable session they were talking about Bush's future State of the Union address, and brought up that the Liar in Chief will talk some about global warming, for the first time. I don't expect that Bush will propose anything of value that he'll actually back up with funding, but even discussing it will move the national dialogue in a better direction. That way, when there's someone who's less of an idiot in the White House, there will be real bipartisan support to try to do something about this issue.

Back to Mr. Will. He states (correctly) that India and China are growing very quickly, and that their production of greenhouse gases will outpace ours. He concludes that we shouldn't bother to do anything about it, since others will be causing problems. Appropriately, Sam Donaldson pointed out how dumb that statement is, but it goes further. Of course the "well, they're bad, so it doesn't matter if we are or not" is a dumbass argument. But so is ignoring the idea that if the US truly invested in technologies that combated global warming we wouldn't see a growth in our economy, that China and India and Europe wouldn't become our customers for that technology. It's also our responsiblity to do what's right.

Not that George Will would understand that.

Iron-y Deficiency

Dick Cheney tells Iran that they should "keep their folks at home," while the secretary of state tells Iran that we won't tolerate outsiders "meddling" in Iraq.

Do they even listen to themselves?

It's dumbass shooting fish in a barrel time

Sometimes it is just WAAAY too easy:
Many argue that the cost of American lives in Iraq has been too high. How soon we forget that we once had a war called the Civil War in which hundreds of thousands of Americans died. A hundred years before that, we were ruled by our own perceived tyrant, the king of England. Likewise Saddam Hussein killed hundreds of thousands of his own people. I applaud the U.S. for standing up to a tyrant. Who knows what Hussein was going to do next? The price of freedom isnever cheap.

Mitch Johnson
Western Springs
"How soon we forget that we once had a war called the Civil War in which hundreds of thousands of Americans died??? " Excuse me, Mr. Johnson, who has forgotten? It is not a problem with "us" forgetting, it is a problem of you fundamentally misunderstanding the events of which you speak.

With regard to the Civil War, need we even point out that this conflict was HERE rather than a world away? Let's also note that Lincoln took our nation to war to protect a union that he believed was worth holding together, a national idea joined and bound by "the mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land." It is difficult to imagine a starker contrast between that cause and this ill-conceived invasion of a fractured legacy of European colonialism where the competing sides cannot even be rationally identified.

Mr. Johnson then refers to our rule by a "tyrant" where he again displays his ignorance of history. While the phrase may have been tossed around by firebrands and agitators, few Americans, even revolutionary leaders, perceived King George as tyrannical. Arrogant, stubborn, petty and incompetent, yes (...hmmm, that sounds familiar...) but tyranny? No.

Besides that, Mr. Johnson, how does that have anything to do with the present mess? You present two instances of domestic insurrections and compare them to an unwarranted and unlawful invasion of a sovereign nation? You equate the establishment of permanent U.S. bases and a stooge government in Iraq while thousands are butchered monthly with freedom?

We did not "stand up" to a tyrant, sir. We destroyed a country. We sowed that wind and reaped the whirlwind of a region in chaos. You also say that we did not know what Saddam Hussein would have done next. Yes, we do. He would have continued to rule over a functioning society in a repressive and often cruel fashion, under close U.S. surveillance. People would have suffered, but for the most part, they would have worked and lived rather than hide and die. We do know one thing he would not have done, however, and that is attack Iran. If only the same were true of our leader.

Mr. Johnson....