Sequester is More Proof GOP Still Playing From Same Buttfumble Playbook

Sequester is coming, the GOP will do nothing to stop it.  They’re working overtime to palm it off on the President. They’re once again betting they can destroy the economy and reap the benefits.

If the Bipartisan Policy Center is right we’ll lose 1 million jobs if sequester is fully implemented. That will send us back into a full blown recession on top of the weak recovery. IT WILL BE BAD. And the GOP is okay with that.

http://bipartisanpolicy.org/blog/2013/01/now-it%E2%80%99s-time-sequester-anxiety

Nouriel Roubini – the reality based economist who called the 2008 meltdown is sounding alarms about the sequester too:

Roubini says the market should not underestimate the impact of the sequester cuts. “It doesn’t look like there will be a last minute deal on the sequester ….the question will be how long the sequester will last.” If it continues to many months, says Roubini. “The fiscal drag will be another 0.7% or 0.8% of economy” which could

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/don-t-underestimate-economic-financial-effects-sequester-nouriel-152832809.html

Ted Cruz: Washington has a tradition of trying to silence people

Item 1. Ted Cruz is a lunatic. He’s a crazy tea party true believer whose beliefs render him incapable of being a responsible member of the government he hates. People who think like he does should not be anywhere near the levers of power, but the people of Texas (God save their souls) sent him there. His brief tenure in Washington has already marked him as most likely to be the next McCarthy-like senate sideshow to burn brightly on Fox and flame out in a supernova of rational backlash. A Glen Beck with a 6 year contract for a daily show on C-SPAN.

Item 2. However, he’s right about how Washington silences the voices that the beltway does not consider one of the VERY SERIOUS voices. And while yes, Ted Cruz shouldn’t be listened to just about ever (unless he’s screaming “fire” in a crowded theater that has been demonstrated to be actually ON FIRE), the D.C. crowd felt the same way about Dennis Kucinich for the entirety of his time in Washington. They have kept the Congressional Progressive Caucus in anonymity so that their very reasonable budget proposals that actually balance the budget without destroying the economy and people’s lives are never seen or discussed in polite society.  Single payer healthcare had to be killed before it gestated for this very same reason. It wouldn’t have been taken seriously in D.C., not just by Rs, but by the “serious” Ds. 

There are incalculable number of instances of great progressive ideas that have been ignored.  No, actually more like buried away like the red-headed step child too inconvenient to deal with, too embarrassing to explain. The biggest and best example in American history being abolition itself.  For over 70 years, from the writing of the Constitution to the 13th Amendment the VERY SERIOUS people whose VERY SERIOUSLY NOBLE CAUSE was keeping the union together, compromised their revered asses off to keep the United States united while many of them practiced that peculiar institution.  

Congress even passed a “gag rule” forbidding discussion of bills restricting slavery on the floor of Congress and Andrew Jackson ordered the Post Office not to deliver abolitionist materials in the South.  

Item 3. Cruz said “I have to admit I find it amusing that those in Washington are puzzled when someone actually does what they said they would do.” This goes out to Texas and the GOP establishment. If you thought this wackadoodle was just being wackadoodly to get elected and then when he got to Washington would act like a VERY SERIOUS PERSON, you too are a wackadoodle. A very naive wackadoodle.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/ted-cruz-washington-has-a-tradition-of-trying-to-silence-people/article/2522035

Thirsty Republican Savior Has Snit Fit Over His Own Immigration Plan – Might Not be Sincere

Part the Milliondy-Billionth of Why I am Not Afraid the GOP Will Get its Shit Together:

Somebody (not the WH, so sayeth them) leaked drafts of immigration reform bills that closely track what everybody, including Marco Rubio, believe a good immigration reform bill should have. BUT apparently Marco (Rubio!) had too much Pepsi on his Fruit Loops that morning and his inner 2 year-old had a sugar rush whirling dervish fit about it. He was so over the top that whatever insane purpose Marco (Rubio!) thought his outburst would achieve was quickly self-defeated.  He was also so quick on the draw to react, it makes me think the leak came from his office.  

President Obama’s administration drafted legislation this month that could give undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship in eight years, require employers to check workers’ immigration status and increase penalties for those who break immigration law.

The ideas appear in three separate draft bills, obtained Monday by The Miami Herald, that closely resemble many of the reforms advanced in 2011 by Obama and, more recently, by Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Ultimately, we’re so bollocksed up in D.C. that the GOP isn’t satisfied just to oppose everything the President approves, just because he approves it, they also have to denounce it AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS, which makes them seem rather irrational to the vast majority of rational people (of which their base is not a part).

U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, a Democrat from Miami, said the president’s proposal is “a good place to start. It encompasses everything Rubio’s talking about. Except it has Obama’s name on it.”
“It’s part of what’s wrong with Washington,” Garcia said. “There’s this whole construct: if it’s theirs, I can’t support it. If Obama’s behind it, Republicans are against it.”

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/18/3241425/president-obamas-immigration-reform.html

By the way on Morning Joe, this A.M. Joey once again continued to denounce, wait for it – BOTH SIDES. Yep, “the far left and the far right” are to be shunned for what they’re doing to Obama, and also what they did to Bush and Clinton.  Bush derangement syndrome turned into Obama derangement syndrome and they’re both the same, right?

I mean clearly both sides are at fault when the Obama haters hate him for being a Kenyan, colonialist socialist, and the Bush haters hated him for LYING US INTO A WAR. The fact that the former is imaginary bullshit and the latter is provably true is just nitpicking and definitely not the bipartisan, melty gooey center governing we need.

Not Politics For a Change – Eat at Barbuto

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It’s Mrs. Polislice’s birthday weekend (well, birthday month really, she’s a princess, you know) so not as much blogging but more good eating on tap.  Had another superlative meal at Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto last night.  Almost a shame to brush your teeth and remove the hint of flavors still lurking in your mouth afterwards.  If in the NY area, do yourself a favor and get a reservation for and go and treat your taste buds to a truly excellent restaurant experience

You know how you go to a restaurant, have a great meal and then when you go back with so much anticipation you get disappointed on your return? Not happenin’ at Barbuto. Just gets better and better.

What we love about Barbuto is that this is great rustic Italian comfort food, not ultra fancy, not molecular gastronomy. Those are all great, and I love me some of that too. But what Barbuto does is really incredibly accessible dishes, done fucking perfectly.  It’s short ribs, roast chicken, pork loin, gnocchi. Just the best goddamn short ribs, roast chicken, pork loin and gnocchi you’ve ever had in a relaxed casual atmosphere at very reasonable not highway robbery prices.

When he was on Top Chef Masters, Waxman was dubbed Obe Wan Kenobi by fellow chef Rick Moonen because he always seemed to come up with some twist on a dish that was simple, but awesome and nobody else did it. That’s what came back to me when I tucked into my braised short ribs in a mashed potato puree (served in a bowl with a spoon because you’ll want to scrape up every speck of that puree) and tasted something sweet in there, OMG it’s raisins. Raisins in the potato puree. An orgasm in a bowl.

Service, food, value, all off the charts excellent. Love this place.

http://www.barbutonyc.com/

The 99% are Funding the 1% – How do we make this clear to the 99%?

  1. For 40 years the working/middle class has increased its productivity but received no more income. They’ve seen their cost of living continuously go up, explode in some sectors like housing, heathcare and education, so that it now takes two paychecks to pay for what one paycheck used to.
  2. The extra monies produced by the 99% (as employees) in increased productivity and (as customers) in costs and fees are both filtering upwards to the 1%. Combine that with historic low taxation and that’s why the top 1% (especially the top .1% and .01%) are skyrocketing in income and assets while the 99% has stagnated or lost.

In short, this is the story of the increasing inequality and overall gloomy economics for the middle class. It’s a zero sum game and a whole lot of money that used to circulate amongst the middle class, buoying the overall economy, is now sitting idly in the bank accounts and on the balance sheets of the super wealthy and corporations.

Not so difficult to understand or explain really. So why don’t more people get it? Maybe the best way to get people’s attention is pointing out that 5 members of the Walton family have as much wealth as the bottom 40,000,000 Americans. That fact just seems so mind blowingly unfair and also seems to be a good stepping off point for explaining how such a thing could have happened.

Screw them: I’m Waiting for the “NRA Effect” to Fade

NRA spokesman verbally sharts that they’re going to ride out the “Connecticut Effect”

WELCH: We have a strong agenda coming up for next year, but of course a lot of that’s going to be delayed as the “Connecticut effect” has to go through the process. […] What’s even more telling is the people who don’t like guns pretty much realize that they can’t do a thing unless they talk to us. After Connecticut I had one of the leading Democrats in the legislature—he was with us most of the time, not all the time—he came to me and said, “Bob, I got all these people in my caucus that really want to ban guns and do all this bad stuff, we gotta give them something. How about we close this gun show loophole? Wouldn’t that be good?” And I said, “no, we’re not going to do that.” And so far, nothing’s happened on that.

I say we should ride out the NRA Effect. I say their recalcitrance to engage responsibly in this debate renders them irrelevant. Ignore the NRA and listen to the American people.

Rubio and the Zombies – Why We Should Call The GOP the Zombie Party

The GOP is full of zombies that won’t die. Not its members, well, not that many of them. But its ideas, and its arguments against progessive ideas (and progress itself). ‘Cause let’s be fair, most of what we fend off today are not their ideas which have been marginalized (getting rid of the minimum wage, social security, overturning Obamacare, burning witches) most of what they say today is just defensive blather offered to fluff their corporatist sponsors and stop proven good ideas, you know, that could make people’s lives appreciably better (heaven forfend!) from going forward (living wages, unions, gun control).

In case you’re wondering, a zombie idea is a proposition that has been thoroughly refuted by analysis and evidence, and should be dead — but won’t stay dead because it serves a political purpose, appeals to prejudices, or both.

Arguing against the minimum wage is full of zombie arguments – seems like all my life every attempt to raise the minimum wage has been countered by warmed over warnings against it that have always proven false, 100% of the time. So how does the press ever take them seriously?  If doctors went on Fox and argued that putting leaches on patients could cure cancer would they take that seriously too? Because that’s the quality of argument made against the minimum wage at ths point. It’s a zombie idea.

By the way on that topic, as Greg Sargent notes:

 Minimum wage is a winner for Democrats: Former Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett aptly explains why the minimum wage hike is a political winner for Democrats on every level. The key is that the Republican argument — that raising it will cost jobs — has no political impact, because no one knows who would be impacted by any job loss (presuming it even happens), while folks who make minimum wage do know that they’d benefit.

I’d only add that no one will believe Republicans are opposing a minimum wage hike out of a desire to protect the interests of low wage workers.

But back to the zombies, Lord Krugman:

For here we are, more than five years into the worst economic slump since the Great Depression, and one of our two great political parties has seen its economic doctrine crash and burn twice: first in the run-up to crisis, then again in the aftermath. Yet that party has learned nothing; it apparently believes that all will be well if it just keeps repeating the old slogans, but louder. It’s a disturbing picture, and one that bodes ill for our nation’s future.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/opinion/krugman-rubio-and-the-zombies.html?_r=1&

Morning Joe is Like M*A*S*H where Frank Burns is the lead character and Hot Lips had a Labotomy

No, that’s not too strong.  This is the morning show on MSNBC. I could easily keep my TV on MSNBC all day long and not be too upset, but those 3 hours in the morning are unbearrrrrrrrrable. Not so much when Joe himself is not there, but when he is I have about a 5 second tolerance. 

It makes it worse that he’s moderate and even enlightened on some issues (guns, since Newtown). It may fool people into thinking this spectacular hack who must have pictures of Phil Griffin fucking a unicorn without a condom might be worth listening to. His vast ouvre of idiocy on behalf of conservatism (while he obnoxiously pretends to be looking for the gooey center) is despicably evident online. His foolishness with Nate Silver was just one glaring example.

But his hacktacularness is reaching new heights lately with his totally made up and ridiculous war against Paul Krugman and, essentially, the entire study of economics was off the rails yesterday when he said yesterday that:

“The GOP denies science, the Democrats deny math”.

Today the out of control Joetrain careened through a town, rampaged through a puppy farm on it’s way to crushing an orphanage as he said on his eponymous plague outbreak and later tweeted: 

Wayne LaPierre’s views on guns is as extreme as Paul Krugman’s views on debt.” Discuss.

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/scarborough-krugman-is-as-extreme-on-debt-as?ref=fpb

The only saving grace, if it could be said to be one is that in an interview with Greg Sargent he admitted he’s really closer to the Dems on this than the GOP on the spending, debt and sequester issue.  He just plays a Wayne LaPierre-like moron on TV.  

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/12/joe-scarborough-and-the-mythical-center/

And the worst part is that after all the heat he will take today from people much better than him, tomorrow he will grandly announce that he was just joking!  “Where is your sense of humor?” he will bellow, cackling at the humorless bloggers, “in their pajamas,” that called him out on his supreme dickishness. I promise you those words will be spoken.

The Most Important Piece of Legislation Introduced this or Any Year

And that is not hyperbole. Money destroys everything. Its corrosive effect on democracy is very well documented. Rick Nolan, D-MN has introduced in Congress a proposed 28th amendment to the constitution to overturn Citizen’s United.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/11/rick-nolan-citizens-united_n_2663128.html

Section 1. [Artificial Entities Such as Corporations Do Not Have Constitutional Rights]

The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.

 

Section 2. [Money is Not Free Speech]

Federal, State, and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.