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Free trade, terracotta candidates and cardboard bicycles

The giant sucking sound Ross Perot wants you to hear these days is him endorsing Mitt Romney on the basis of Romney’s presumed fiscally responsible policies. Perot, who wasn’t born yesterday, posits that history began in 2009 and says experts support Romney’s contention that the mome raths outgrabe.

Democrats, meanwhile, are shocked, shocked! that the company Romney once owned and still profits from is outsourcing jobs to China in a particularly callous fashion — requiring American workers at Sensata, an auto parts maker, to conclude their own employment by training their Chinese replacements. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin (who recently declined to sign a letter pledging to block Social Security cuts) is joining Sensata workers today in a show of solidarity.
Continue reading Free trade, terracotta candidates and cardboard bicycles

Bowles-Simpson or Simpson-Bowles? The choice is yours …

I didn’t watch the debate — allergies. I did read the transcript, God help me. This is how I know that former US Senator Alan Simpson was in the audience. Apparently he’s a member of the debate commission. That figures; he wants to do for the marketplace of political ideas what he wants to . . . → Read More: Bowles-Simpson or Simpson-Bowles? The choice is yours …

Embargoed until release: President Obama’s Labor Day address

Disclaimer: this is not actually Barack Obama speaking at the site of the Loray Mill in Gastonia, North Carolina on Labor Day in 2012.

Thank you all for coming to Gastonia today.

When I delivered my Nobel Lecture in acceptance of the Nobel Committee’s prize for peace on December 10 of 2009, I did so in the knowledge that I had not earned it and did not deserve it. I told the assemblage that among those more deserving, “there are the men and women around the world who have been jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice; those who toil in humanitarian organizations to relieve suffering; the unrecognized millions whose quiet acts of courage and compassion inspire even the most hardened cynics. I cannot argue with those who find these men and women – some known, some obscure to all but those they help – to be far more deserving of this honor than I.”

In retrospect, I should have ended my speech there and left the stage. Because just as I did not deserve that prize, those people, “jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice,” did not deserve to be subordinated to my cause that night, which was not justice but justification of state violence applied to an inexcusably wide range of situations. And I stand before you today to make some small amends, to celebrate and justify our own who across the years have been and still are jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice, and I ask you all, and all other Americans, to celebrate and justify them with me.
Continue reading Embargoed until release: President Obama’s Labor Day address

If Mitt Romney beats Jill Stein, the blame will lie squarely with Obama supporters

Yes, folks, it’s “Lesser of Two Evils” season once again. I’ll keep this short, everybody can ignore it and we’ll return to the theme in August of 2016 when once again, the Democratic candidate will most likely be less horrible than the Republican one.

Barack Obama is a bad president. Liberals are stupid to support him.

His signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act, was written by a former health insurance company executive following a conservative blueprint devised to forestall government-funded universal health care such as the residents of every other developed nation, and most developing nations as well, enjoy. It massively subsidizes for-profit insurers and enshrines them as the government-sanctioned health care gatekeepers for most Americans. It kicks the prospects for genuinely universal care at least a decade down the road beyond where they already were. People will continue to expire in large numbers for lack of affordable care.

That’s the good news. That’s the upside.
Continue reading If Mitt Romney beats Jill Stein, the blame will lie squarely with Obama supporters

Democrats agree to push for single-payer health care system if mandate falls

BTC News has learned that senior Congressional Democrats are quietly directing staff members to organize an effort to pass Medicare-for-all legislation in the event the Supreme Courts strikes down the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act, also know as Obamacare.

The staff members are reaching out to leaders of key advocacy groups for support of the effort. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee official told BTC News that the fight for universal health care in America will play a critical role in the reelection campaign of President Obama, and in the efforts of Democrats to regain control of the House and solidify control of the Senate.

Continue reading Democrats agree to push for single-payer health care system if mandate falls

An epitaph for Obama: “I think we’ve all learned a valuable lesson.”

Not long after the big Republican win in the 2010 elections, the Obama administration’s best and brightest gave up on explaining that putting people to work is really good for both the economy and for people who need work. The concept was too complicated for voters, they thought, so instead the president went off to negotiate with a crew of irresolute drunks and psychotic killer termites over how best to tighten the belt of government around the necks of the poor, the sick, the old and the unemployed.

This is according to David Corn’s new book, Showdown, which is apparently meant as a generous portrait of the administration.

Continue reading An epitaph for Obama: “I think we’ve all learned a valuable lesson.”

“Take up the white man’s burden …” Plus, your world record moment of Zen

Writing at the widely-read liberal blog Hullabaloo, David Atkins says the most recent US atrocity in Afghanistan means it’s time to pull the plug on what should, and in his estimation could, have been The Good War. He weeps for the Buddhas of Bamiyam (destroyed by order of Taliban leaders in 2001); he accuses his fellow liberals of parochialism and closing their eyes to the plight of Afghan women; he quotes both the penultimate stanza of Rudyard Kipling’s iconic poem, The White Man’s Burden, and the exhortation scribbled on the final page of Kurz’s monograph in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.

Possibly I made that last bit up. But “Ye dare not stoop to less” and “Exterminate all the brutes!” are clearly visible just beneath the surface. He doesn’t despair that we invaded and occupied Afghanistan; he despairs that we didn’t do it better.

Oh, he cites the “enormous peril of foreign intervention in largely intractable situations,” and he says that “prolonged occupations anywhere are a terrible idea” because “[t]hese sorts of incidents are almost inevitable.” He says that “continuing this awful, endless occupation replete with civilian massacre after civilian massacre is no answer at all. It’s long past time to go.” But then he closes with this:

Still, weep for the people we will be leaving behind. Weep for the Shi’ite ethnic hazara who will likely be doomed upon our departure … And mourn the fate of a people who once had hope for a better future, and now have none because America ended up doing more harm than good when all was said and done. It didn’t have to be thus [emphasis mine].

Well, David: it did have to be thus. Because thus is what wars and invasions and occupations are.

Continue reading “Take up the white man’s burden …” Plus, your world record moment of Zen

Giant Carnivorous Termite Caucus renege on “budget” “deal”: quelle suprise et horreur!

The Giant Carnivorous Termite Caucus (GCTC) within the Torquemada wing of the Congressional GOP have announced their intent to renege on the debt-limit budget deal in which they participated back in prehistory, before several thousand excruciating albeit occasionally hilarious Republican presidential primary debates and the ensuing elections served to wipe everyone’s minds clean.

Not to worry, though: this is good news. The original deal was horrible, and now they’ll just be kicking things down the road another year. (It’s also bad news: when Republicans shoot themselves in the foot, Democrats cry out in pain and limp to the right. More on that later.)

The only people who didn’t think this would happen were people who didn’t think about it at all. One guy I like to read is calling it “a towering act of bad faith.” Well, you know … these guys are basically ambulatory acts of bad faith. If you sucked all the bad faith from their bodies, the loss of internal pressure would make them implode into small mounds of human skin and you would be spitting out sawdust and foul vapors for weeks.

Continue reading Giant Carnivorous Termite Caucus renege on “budget” “deal”: quelle suprise et horreur!

Alan Fucking Simpson! plus: SS v. ACA: comparing apples and a mouthful of tacks

Alan Fucking Simpson! is a former Senator from Wyoming. He hates Social Security and the “greedy geezers” who rely on it to sustain them in their later years, and he doesn’t understand why anybody who already gets Social Security cares about preserving the program for younger people when anyone can see that it’s none of their business. He is the co-chair of the current president’s completely gratuitous National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, a name that translates to “the National Commission on Cannibalizing Social Insurance and Safety Net Programs.”

President Obama created the bipartisan commission when Congress, in an uncharacteristically sensible move involving some characteristically skeezy motives, decided not to. The prospective Congressional commission prefigured the late, unlamented Super Committee, which was designed to do the same thing—produce a list of proposals that Congress would either approve without amendment or disapprove. The president supported the plan, but most Senate Democrats opposed it and it went down when several Republicans who cosponsored the legislation voted against it on the grounds that the commission might somehow do something that could possibly redound to Obama’s benefit.

Good for them. Unfortunately, the president then appointed his own commission, but without the legislative imperative. He named Erskine Bowles, a conservative Democrat and wealthy investment banker, to represent liberals and the poor, and to hold down the cannibals’ corner he appointed the aforementioned cannibalistic Republican Alan Fucking Simpson!

Continue reading Alan Fucking Simpson! plus: SS v. ACA: comparing apples and a mouthful of tacks

Rick Santorum, the litmus candidate

Way back when Newt Gingrich was leading the GOP presidential primaries, after he cleaned Willard M Romney’s clock in that bastion of Southern decency and Confederate zeal, South Carolina, former Clinton labor secretary and increasingly shrill Obama critic Robert Reich admonished Democrats who were cheering Newt on in the belief that a demented megalomaniac as the GOP candidate could only enhance Obama’s reelection prospects.

… Democratic pundits, political advisers, officials and former officials are salivating over the possibility of a Gingrich candidacy. They agree with key Republicans that Newt would dramatically increase the odds of Obama’s reelection and would also improve the chances of Democrats taking control over the House and retaining control over the Senate.

I warn you. It’s not worth the risk.

Even if the odds that Gingrich as GOP presidential candidate would win the general election are 10 percent, that’s too much of a risk to the nation. No responsible American should accept a 10 percent risk of a President Gingrich.

Continue reading Rick Santorum, the litmus candidate