Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, October 17, 2013 8:14 pm

Quote of the day, Tea Party debt-ceiling edition

“The pseudo conservative is a man who, in the name of upholding traditional American values and institutions and defending them against more or less fictitious dangers, consciously or unconsciously aims at their abolition.” – Richard Hofstadter, 1954.

Chronicle of a death foretold, debt-ceiling edition

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, the Republican now running FreedomWorks and other detriments to American well-being, is an evil little turd, but he correctly called the outcome a week in advance:

I will predict this: When they agree on a spending bill, it will speak not at all to Obamacare and it will be at budgetary numbers higher than the sequestration level. And so in the end, the Republican conference will lose ground on the budget, they will lose ground on health care, they will lose ground politically, and they’ll be in a worse position than where Boehner had them going into this process. And they’ll all blame Boehner, bless his heart.

(h/t: Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice)


Sunday, October 6, 2013 1:41 pm

How to restore confidence in the economy

Commenter Christobal Juanes in John Burns’s feed on Facebook:

Man, you know what would really help restore confidence in the economy? Investors not having to worry that the US is going to default on its obligations every couple of months because a political minority that can’t accomplish its myopic, selfish goals through the traditional, constitutionally-designed process holds the economy hostage.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:49 pm

Quote of the Day, negotiating-with-terrorists edition

Greg Sargent in the WaPo:

It’s now become accepted as normal that Republicans will threaten explicitly to allow harm to the country to get what they want, and will allow untold numbers of Americans to be hurt rather than even enter into negotiations over the sort of compromises that lie at the heart of basic governing.

In other words, Republicans feel free to violate their oaths of office without consequence, and Democrats are too timid to make an issue of it, let alone campaign on it. And here I thought America didn’t negotiate with terrorists.

Thursday, August 11, 2011 7:51 pm

Why you don’t want to try to run government like a business

Because business people haven’t the first clue what they’re talking about, observes Sir Charles at Cogitamus:

One of the things that has kept occuring to me over the last couple of weeks — and with particular potency on Thursday as the stock market tanked — is the consistent uselessness of the American business community in matters of policy.  Business groups like the Chamber of Commerce continuously push to elect Republicans to office despite the fact that they are committed to harmful cuts in government expenditures, cuts that will ultimately harm the Chamber’s own constituency.  The Wall Street community, which got its collective nose out of joint over the all too tepid criticisms levelled at it by President Obama, helped to elect Republicans so out of touch with financial reality that they allowed the prospect of a governmental default to spook the markets.  All of this despite the fact that historically the economy experiences much greater job growth under Democratic administrations and that the stock market has performed far better under Democratic presidents.

Business leaders could have played a useful role in the recent debates over both the move towards austerity and the debt ceiling.  It would have been extremely helpful to have arguments made for expansionary policies posited by the business community, which rightly or wrongly, continues to have a ready microphone in the mainstream media, particularly on cable television.  They chose instead to sit on the sidelines and let the crazies in the Republican Party have their way.  Only after the fact have they reacted to the bad policy decisions foisted on us by the extreme right, past the point where they could have any positive input in the debate.

To be fair to business, not all business groups are alike. The national Chamber of Commerce, which represents primarily the largest corporations while claiming to speak for all business,  is so insane some local chambers are disassociating themselves from it, while groups such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses, which represent more small and medium-sized businesses, have been more reality-based.

But the poster’s larger point stands: Big Business has supported political candidates whose party’s performance history is objectively inimical to its interests. It has supported politicians who are killing it, not politicians who have helped it. And that, friends, is one good reason not to run government like business.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 8:18 pm

On calling people terrorists

Hostage-taking is an act of terrorism. If you don’t want to be called a terrorist, don’t farking act like one.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Friday, July 22, 2011 8:31 pm

Parallel universe

Gin and Tacos:

(Let’s) indulge in a fun hypothetical.

Let’s say that through a combination of fund-raising prowess, ideological militancy, and personal charisma, Jesse Jackson Sr. is able to assume a position of considerable behind-the-scenes power in the Democratic Party. His sway over elected Democrats is such that he manages to get 95% of the Democratic Congressional delegation, House and Senate, to sign an oath of personal loyalty to his policy goals. Specifically, they pledge that under no circumstances will they ever support cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other social welfare programs. Jackson believes that any such cuts will affect the poor and people of color disproportionately. Throughout the debate over the budget and debt ceiling, House and Senate Democrats refuse to even consider any proposal that touches any of those programs. It is a non-starter. Full stop. Because they swore an oath to Jesse Jackson that they wouldn’t.

I’m sure you can see through this thin shoe-on-the-other-partisan-foot analogy to Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” that currently holds sway over the GOP. I do think it’s interesting to draw out the hypothetical scenario, though, to underscore a point: Can you even imagine the sheer violence of the [drawers-soiling] that the GOP, Teatards, and Beltway media would be engaged in if the shoe really was on the other foot? If every Democrat had signed a personal oath to an interest group and private citizen that took precedence over their oath to the American people and Constitution?

I’m quite sure someone would have taken a shot — literally — at Jackson by now. But we know, and are more willing by the day to acknowledge publicly, that the congressional GOP and the party base are insane. The more interesting part of this thought experiment to me is what the exercise tells us about the U.S. news media: its political leanings, its philosophical allegiances and its sickening double standards.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 8:18 pm

Quote of the day

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 8:18 pm
Tags: , , ,

Emptywheel, in her new digs, on the pending settlement of the NFL lockout:

This is all proof, I guess, that Eric Cantor is a bigger [expletive] than even Jerry Jones.

Which I would have said violated the principles of simple Newtonian physics, but there we are: Football! Which is, of course, far from the same thing as the Panthers’ having a decent season, but at least the No. 1 overall draft pick is likely to be under contract when camp opens.


“But … but … but … CLASS WARFARE!!!”

Filed under: Evil,I want my money back. — Lex @ 8:06 pm
Tags: , ,

Chris Bowers of the Great Orange Satan:

As you read this, rich and powerful people in Washington, DC are trying to determine not whether they should cut programs designed to help low and middle-income Americans, but by how much they should cut those programs. The rich and powerful people in DC are making these cuts in order to pay for tax breaks they recently gave to rich people and large corporations. Additionally, the cuts are being made at the behest of the lobby organizations and media operations owned by rich people and large corporations.

If that isn’t a class war, I don’t know what is.

If it quacks steals from the poor and middle class to give to the rich, it’s class warfare. And if it refuses to provide basic health care to poor people, guts workplace and environmental safety regulations, buys off government regulatory agencies and insulates itself from accountability under the guise of “tort reform,” all while enjoying the lowest tax burden in more than half a century and pretty much all of the income gains in the past 40 years, it might not be genocide, but it  certainly sees genocide as an aspirational peer.

Friday, July 15, 2011 8:44 pm

Quote of the day, debt-ceiling edition

From the best political pundit in America today. No, sit the hell down, Brooks, you ignorant twit. You, too, Friedman, you insufferable solipsist. I’m talking about Digby:

I’m afraid that the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that grandma must pay, come what may.

And the sad thing is that because Democrats have a right wing opposition party that’s [expletive]  insane it means that they can run as Ronald Reagan and people feel they have no choice but to vote for them anyway. It must be so liberating for politicians not to have to worry about the effects of their policies on real people.

And let’s be clear about those effects: They’re going to be awful.

Never mind that in cutting government spending so greatly right now we’re going to make unemployment go higher, not lower. Forget that. No, we have a bigger problem: Because of cuts in health care and other human services provided by government, a nontrivial number of Americans are going to die prematurely as a direct consequence of this grandstanding, by both sides, on the debt ceiling. Both the president and Congress will have blood on their hands, and both have made it clear they couldn’t give less of a damn.


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