Midday open thread

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 17-11-2010-05-2008


  • Shady conservative front group sues Blue America PAC. Not just frivolous, but a classic case of projection.
  • The White House is so freakin’ desperate for “bipartisanship”, that is says idiotic things like this:

    In today’s White House briefing, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs went out of his way to play down any conflict with GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican leader John Boehner over the rescheduling of the meeting, which was originally planned for Thursday. The meeting is intended to address issues that Congress will take up during its lame duck session – including the possible extension of the Bush tax cuts.

    “Bipartisanship has happened,” Gibbs said of the meeting.

    No, it hasn’t. And you know what? No one gives a shit anyway. No one, apparently, except for Obama and his brain trust inside the White House.

  • Investigate the pornographers and sexual harrassers at the TSA? Sounds good to me!
  • p.s., no, Israeli airport security isn’t less intrusive than the sexual harrassers at the TSA.
  • What Digby said:

    Why Democrats haven’t been saying jobs=deficit reduction on a loop, I don’t know. I guess they figure it’s just too complicated to explain that when people aren’t working they aren’t paying taxes so the government doesn’t have as much money. If government spends money to help people get back to work, it will be paid back when those people get jobs and pay their taxes. Et voila, deficit reduction. (See: “the 1990s”)

    Obviously, health care costs need to be controlled long term, and who knows if it’s possible to get that level of growth again. But this current so-called crisis is a growth problem, first and foremost, and if the government would do the virtuous job of stimulating the economy to create jobs, they would also be creating policies to reduce the deficit. As Sarah Palin would say, it’s just “common sense.”

  • Also common sense? The fact that unemployment benefits are the best stimulative for the economy. And the GOP are about to block further extensions.

    Two million Americans could lose their benefits by the end of the year if this doesn’t get extended, according to the National Employment Law Project. And after that, with an incoming Republican House and more Republicans in the Senate, it would seem virtually impossible to get UI benefits passed.

    At the same time as this is happening, Republicans want to extend the high-end Bush tax cuts, at a cost of 0 billion dollars, without paying for them. So they want to allow tax cuts with little stimulative effect to go unpaid, and then insist on paying for UI extensions with major stimulative effect. “It’s like someone on a diet who orders a Diet Coke and a Big Mac simultaneously,” Reed said. “Republicans are trying to rewrite economics and reality.” Extending unemployment benefits gets money into the hands of people who need to spend it, while tax cuts for the rich often lies fallow. Economists have shown that UI extensions are far more stimulative; one report said that failure to pass an extension would shave 0.5% from GDP growth, and reduce consumer spending.

    In other words, if the benefits aren’t extended, millions more will lose their jobs.

  • IL-08: With Melissa Bean’s concession in Illinois, Republicans have now gained 60 seats. They’ll likely end up with 64 when all’s said and done.

    Bean lost by 291 votes. And while Illinois districts will be redrawn before the 2012 elections, this area will be ripe for retaking in a presidential year in Illinois.

  • Real rock stars pictured with real scientists will grace this month’s GQ Magazine. Via Chris Mooney:

    Weirdness aside, Agus says the most memorable aspect of the whole experience came when his young kids saw the final images in GQ. They were proud and excited by it—a perfect example of how the campaign generates enthusiasm for science in the next generation — Darksyde

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