Posts Tagged ‘crackpot

08
Dec
11

catching up

President Obama speaks during a news conference on Republican obstruction of Richard Cordray’s nomination to head the CFPB, Dec 8

Steve Benen: Two months after the Senate Banking Committee approved Richard Cordray as the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Senate leadership brought the nomination to the floor this morning. Republicans refused to allow a vote …. It’s hard to overstate how outrageous today’s filibuster really is.

…. It’s all part of the normalization of extortion politics. Traditionally, if the GOP wanted to alter the powers of the CFPB, it would write legislation, send it to committee, bring it to the floor, send it to the other chamber, etc. But that takes time and effort, and might not work. Instead, we see the latest in a series of GOP extortion strategies: Republicans will force Democrats to accept changes to the agency, or Republicans won’t allow the agency to meet its legal mandate…..

More here

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Washington Post

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The President is pre-taping interviews with WISH (Indianapolis, IN), KSNV (Las Vegas, NV), WREG (Memphis, TN) and WCHS (Portland, ME) today

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Steve Benen: We generally look to the first Friday of every month for new unemployment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but every Thursday morning, the Department of Labor releases a report on initial unemployment claims.

And this morning, the news is very good:

The number of people filing for state unemployment benefits for the first time fell 23,000 to the lowest level since late February, the government said Thursday. The Labor Department said claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 381,000 last week. The level of initial claims in the week ended Nov. 26 was revised up by 2,000 to 404,000.

The consensus expectations were for a slight drop, which makes the sharp drop that much more encouraging…..

More here

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You can never see this enough:

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Steve Benen: Politico has a piece today on Senate Democrats’ outrage over Republican obstructionism, as evidenced by Tuesday’s filibuster of judicial nominee Caitlin Halligan and today’s expected filibuster of CFPB nominee Richard Cordray. As Dems see it, GOP abuses are setting a new standard — which Democrats will take advantage of the next time they’re in the minority.

…. Republicans respond that these current tactics aren’t new, and the Politico article tells readers the GOP argument is sound.

…. This isn’t a subjective question on which the parties are entitled to different opinions. There are objective, often quantifiable, answers to the points Politico and Republicans are raising: are GOP senators “replicating” Democratic tactics? Were Dems abusing Senate rules in the Bush era to the same degree that Republicans are abusing them now?

The answer to both is “no,” and the false equivalence does little to advance the discussion.

More here

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Oh Willard…..

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Steve Benen: Most of the Affordable Care Act won’t take effect for a few years – and if court rulings and the 2012 elections go a certain way, it may not take effect at all – but there’s already evidence that the reform law is working.

It’s making a big difference in providing coverage for young adults; it’s providing treatment options for women like Spike Dolomite Ward; and it’s slowing the growth in Medicare spending.

It’s also, as Jonathan Cohn explained, saving seniors quite a bit of money on prescription medication…..

More here

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Boston Herald

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TPM

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President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrive to speak in the South Court Auditorium on the White House, Dec. 7

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada talk backstage at the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building following their joint press conference, Dec. 7, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Rolling Stone

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TPM: Details of Stephen Colbert’s “South Carolina Serious, Classy Republican Debate” are becoming more clear. Kind of…

“It’s happening, we’re doing it, we’ve set the date in stone, sometime in January,” Colbert said. “It’s going to be on Animal Planet. They haven’t returned my call yet.”

More here (plus video)

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CBS: President Barack Obama will appear on “60 Minutes” in an interview with Steve Kroft to be broadcast Sunday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Steve Kroft interviewed the president on Tuesday in Kansas after he delivered an economic speech in the small town of Osawatomie. President Obama will talk to Kroft again tomorrow at the White House for Sunday’s report.

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06
Apr
11

‘crackpotonomics’

Clay Bennett

St Louis Post-Dispatch: …  Paul Ryan’s plan offers a big bouquet to wealthy Americans, cutting their tax rates from 35 percent to 25 percent; eliminating the estate tax and taxes on capital gains and dividends. The richest 1 percent, who already take in nearly a quarter of American income and control almost 40 percent of all forms of wealth, would see their taxes cut in half. The average tax cut for millionaires would be about $500,000 a year.

The burden of the Ryan plan would be born by the shrinking middle class, which would lose its single biggest tax break, the deduction for home mortgages; and the elderly, who would see their Medicare health coverage effectively eliminated. Medicare for those already age 55 or older would be left alone (for political reasons) but younger Americans, as they become eligible, would get vouchers to purchase care on insurance exchanges …He would turn Medicaid, which pays for medical care for the poor, into a block grant program, letting states spend it as they wish.

Mr. Ryan’s bill is a potpourri of crackpot Republican ideas – a “business consumption tax” that is effectively a value-added (sales) tax that falls most heavily on the poor and middle class; the discredited trickle-down nonsense of Reaganomics;  “flat” (or at least flat-ish) tax rates and the shredding of the social services safety net. Defense spending would not be cut. Spending on veterans’ health care would be.

….Clearly spending must be cut. But it must be done fairly, in combination with new revenue generated from those who can afford it, and without imposing heavier burdens on those at the bottom of the economic ladder.

…House GOP negotiators are held hostage by 87 freshmen zealots; the White House is holding out for short-term fixes in the probably vain hope that adults will gather and talk seriously about the long term.

The government may have to grind to a halt before that can happen. That, and public outrage over the Ryan plan, may play right into Mr. Obama’s hands.

Full article here

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There’s another great post here on Ryan’s plan by PM Carpenter (Thank you Ladyhawke)




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