Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 10:19 pm

Odds and ends for March 25

I think it’s about damned time the president of the United States reminded Israel (as well as congressional Republicans) that we have no permanent allies and no permanent enemies, only permanent interests.* It’s a position with which Israel should be familiar.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich says that if Sen. Elizabeth Warren isn’t seeking the Democratic nomination for president and no one else runs on economic issues, he might have to run. That’s an interesting development. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s support is a mile wide and, on average, an inch deep (see this Meredith College poll re her N.C. standing), precisely because she’s not running against the GOP’s continued reaming and killing of the working class and strip-mining of the little remaining wealth of the middle class. If Reich jumps in soon — which he would have to do to win — he’d pose a formidable challenge to Hillary and would add some desperately needed real-world substance to the 2016 debate.

N.C. Republicans continue their war on equality. Serious question, guys: Why do you hate America? And spare me your “religious freedom” crap, please.

North Carolina’s private-school voucher program has met with, to be charitable, deeply mixed success. So what do the Republicans want to do? Quadruple it, duh.

And they want to privatize the state ferry system, an essential public service for Outer Banks residents. Look at the backers’ financial support and see what you find.

I usually try to end these posts with something lighthearted or at least satirical, but today I’ve got nothin’. Have a good evening.

*Attributed to Henry John Temple Viscount Lord Palmerston

Thursday, September 8, 2011 7:52 pm

The next time someone asks me why we shouldn’t just abandon all hope …

Filed under: Love,Y'all go read this — Lex @ 7:52 pm
Tags: , ,

… I’m pointing them to this.

Monday, September 6, 2010 2:24 pm

We’re talking about “equality” here. No wonder a Republican senator is having trouble.

Filed under: Aiee! Teh stoopid! It burns! — Lex @ 2:24 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I have long believed that the Congressional Budget Office is staffed by robots — not because of the quality (or lack thereof) of their work, but because I think carbon-based life forms would be unable to respond to idiotic question after idiotic question from congresscritters and their staffers, day in and day out, year in and year out, without allowing at least a modicum of snark to seep into their reports and responses. And yet, as with the watchdogs of the Governmental Accountability Office, they manage to continue to produce reports and analyses from which every last bit of partisanship, emotion and edge has been thoroughly expunged.

If you think I exaggerate, consider the recent question posed by the felicitously named Sen. Mike Crapo, Republican of Idaho (flagged by Sarabeth at If passing certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act was estimated to reduce the deficit by $455 billion over 10 years; what effect would repealing these same provisions have on the deficit?

Picture, if you will, the CBO office in which this communication is first received. Normal, carbon-based life forms would be saying things to an imaginary Crapo like, “OK, Mike, it’s like this. See this cookie? This cookie is the part of the deficit affected by the act. If we enact the act [holds cookie behind back], the cookie goes away. But if we then repeal the act [brings hand forward again], the cookie comes back. Got it?”

But because normal, carbon-based life forms aren’t involved, instead we get this:

Finally, you asked what the net deficit impact would be if certain provisions of PPACA and the Reconciliation Act that were estimated to generate net savings were eliminated—specifically, those which were originally estimated to generate a net reduction in mandatory outlays of $455 billion over the 2010–2019 period. The estimate of $455 billion mentioned in your letter represents the net effects of many provisions. Some of those provisions generated savings for Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and some generated costs. If those provisions were repealed, CBO estimates that there would be an increase in deficits similar to its original estimate of $455 billion in net savings over that period.

In other words, a = a. It’s standard pre-algebra. It’s called the Reflexive Property of Equality. Learn it, love it, live it.

And then there’s this lagniappe, which I am not making up: Crapo is considered such a whiz on this subject that his party has made him the ranking minority member on the Senate Finance subcommittee on healthcare.

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