Sunday, 31 July 2011

Where are the Democrats? (Or, “WTF?”)

[This piece has been Updated Twice]

So it looks like debt ceiling deal will be $3 trillion in spending cuts, but no new taxes or revenues. Not even the loop holes for stuff government shouldn’t be subsidising are going to be closed, it seems. What?! I thought President Obama was a Democrat! And what are the Senate Democrats doing? Why are they caving totally to Tea Party/Republican demands? Why are they presenting a deal that matches the Republican position of no new taxes or we kill the country? After Obama and Boehner negotiated a balanced deal, and they were mostly on the same page, only to be skewered by the idiots, and lots of back-and-forth B.S. from both sides, we’re actually at a point where the Republicans will be getting more than they originally asked for? And for what? Acting like petulant kindergarteners? Seriously?!

Or, in a more measured manner, as Michael Tomasky put it: “it appears Obama is meeting the Republicans – on their terms.”

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Al Franken's Floor Speech on Debt Ceiling

He seems to be getting into the swing of making longer Senate speeches (I think it was Matt Taibbi who wrote about the experience of listening to Senate Floor Speeches being one of the most soul destroying and boring things ever...). Unlike many of his colleagues, however, Franken shows in his speeches the same attention to detail and intelligence that he included in his books (especially in The Truth: With Jokes).*

He makes some very good, backed-up-by-evidence-and-statistics points about the deficit, Republican tax cut fetishism, the GOP professed desire to cut the deficit to save America's children (but at the same time, cutting most of the programs that benefit children), and many of the other issues that have swirled around the debt ceiling debate. A very good speech.

* I still hold that Franken is so much better at politics and commentary than he is at "satire", which often falls rather flat.

A Cheeky Ad on The Nation

Saw this just now, and thought it was delightfully cheeky:


Now, if only The Nation was lucky enough to have a larger readership... (They are quite left, it's true, but they also have some excellent long articles and media criticism. Their best articles have been about Special Interests and the Media in politics. Always good, for as long as I've been reading it.)

Saturday, 23 July 2011

A Great Cartoon from The Weekly Standard…

… which I think is quite apt, in some instances:


One of the things I like about The Weekly Standard is the cartoonist or illustrator they get to work on their articles. He/She has a very cool, distinctive style, and I don’t think he’s ever done a graphic I didn’t like. Unfortunately, I can’t find any mention in the magazine of his/her name. Anybody know?

As for the article it’s connected to I have mixed thoughts about, but Fred Barnes, who wrote it, brings up some good points.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Debt-Ceiling Increases by Administration

Just interesting and speaks volumes, really, about much of the debate that currently is swirling in Washington, D.C.:


So it’s the Democratic presidents who have had to raise it the least often during their administrations. But now it’s become a problem for the Republicans, whose presidents have raised it quite merrily over the past 30 years? Right.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011