Saturday, June 11, 2011

Jon Stewart: Tim Pawlenty & Herman Cain


Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Funnies: The Weiner Edition

   It’s  the weekend and what better way to kick it into gear than with some Weiner jokes?  You all knew that this was coming, so just sit back and enjoy it. What else do you have to do?


The Daily Show


Conan O'Brien : "It turns out that one of the women Congressman Anthony Weiner was communicating with was a porn star. When asked how it was possible to get involved with someone in such a sleazy business, the porn star said, 'I don't know.'"

51 percent of New York voters think Congressman Weiner should keep his seat in office. The other 49 percent think that he should disinfect it."

"Congressman Weiner reportedly called Bill Clinton to apologize for his behavior. After Bill suggested that Weiner also call Hillary, Weiner said, 'Don't worry, I sent her a text.'"

Jon Stewart: “What?! The congressman had a sex scandal and had to apologize to Bill Clinton? For what?! Copyright infringement?"

Jay Leno : "This is why Twitter exists. Members of Congress can now send you pictures of their penises electronically. Remember the old days of Senator Larry Craig when you had to get in your car, drive to the airport, find the airport bathroom, try to figure out which stall he's in, knock on the door...Now they send it right to your house."

"Congressman Weiner has admitted that he did carry on explicit online relationships with six different women. Well, he thought they were women. Turns out three were woman, one was a guy pretending to be a woman, and the other two were congressmen."

"A second woman has come forward now. She says she has over 200 explicit sex messages from the married congressman. She says they're very short messages. Like cocktail wieners."

Stephen Colbert : Democrats don't share our values. An elected official is tweeting dirty photos of himself to strange women who he never meets for sex? Come on! At least Republican Chris Lee was trying to get some action! Republican politicians are man enough to hit that thing. Ensign, Vitter, even when it's a gay scandal! They're not tweeting love letters. They're tearing up an airport bathroom until somebody calls the cops on them!"

Craig Ferguson: "But I have to ask this: What kind of world are we living in when porn stars make Weiners go down?' It's reverse world!"

Florida Governor Scott Delivering The Jobs…Not!

The lies that this American Taliban Member will tell has no limits.

 Here he takes credit for jobs coming to Boca Raton.

For Gov. Rick Scott's charade of the day, he's championing the move of a Canadian company's U.S. headquarters to Boca Raton -- a move that was nearly cemented before the governor even took office.  [...]

The press release from Scott's office happens to ignore the fact that a deal existed before Scott went to his trip:

"This announcement speaks volumes about the strides we are taking to create the best business environment in the U.S.," the governor says. "Many companies here in Canada have expressed their desire to do business with Florida because of our excellent business climate and commitment to cut taxes and grow jobs - proof that we are capturing the attention of the business community worldwide."

So, What?

Who gives a crap

by Muskegon Critic @ DKos

Every day it seems there's a new thing to completely alienate me from American politics.

The obsession with Anthony Wiener's dick shots. The obsession with the latest dumb ass shit Sarah Palin said about Paul Revere or other topic. The obsession with some congressman who solicited sex through Craigslist.

You know, forget about the millions of Americans in poverty, struggling with hunger, the crushing unemployment, the cities lain to waste...forget about all that. Forget about it. Because we have political celebrities to follow.

Maybe...maybe...just MAYBE...maybe someday Americans will start giving a shit about shit that impacts their lives rather than giving a shit about shit that won't impact shit.

Maybe...just MAYBE...Americans who are hurting, losing their jobs, homes, savings, health care...see this as just some distant political masturbation by a class of people who have NOTHING to lose. NOTHING. NOTHING to lose. While the rest of America is ignored some more.

It's just so much easier for all of us to agree that posting your dick online is a bad idea...and it's so much easier for us all to agree that Sarah Palin is a dumbass.

But you know...the longer I'm immersed in this Punch and Judy game the more it's obvious it's just a distraction from actual peoples' lives.

The rest of us scum of America...the filthy, unwashed's fine if we engage in these acts because we're worthless, futureless nobodies. But dear god, being wrong about history and online dalliances for our congressmen or idiotic half therm Alaskan Governors, these issues deserve to be front and center in NATIONAL NEWS because these people need to be held up to a higher standard than the rest of us putrid, useless Americans. us MORE of these crotch shots from Brittany Spears or Anthony Weiner or whoever is showing their genitals because dear God this is so much more useful to us and so much simpler than actual policy that makes my life more bearable as an American.

This bullshit focus on the cult of personality and fame in DC isn't helping anybody.

It Is Not Helping Anybody.

If this little game of who does or says what stupid shit on their own personal time is what is meant by electing more and better Democrats, then count me out.

I didn't sign on to play some role in a political tabloid game. I signed on to get shit done. can almost hear the politicos on both sides of the aisle heave a sigh of relief that this Weiner thing and Palin thing has taken the pressure off to actually get anything done. All they have to do is show the right amount of indignance and they can ride that for a couple weeks or news cycles.

This Weiner's stupid. This Palin-Paul Rever thing, it's also stupid.


Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Newt Loses His Top Aides

  From the A.P.

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich's campaign manager, senior strategists and key aides in early delegate-selection states all resigned on Thursday, a mass exodus that leaves his hopes of winning the Republican nomination in tatters.

Rick Tyler, Gingrich's spokesman, said he, campaign manager Rob Johnson and senior strategists had resigned, along with aides in the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Other officials said Gingrich was informed that his entire high command was quitting in a meeting earlier in the day. They cited differences over the direction of the campaign but were not more specific.

  That will pretty much put the nail in the coffin lid for Gingrich’s presidential aspirations. Not that the little man had any kind of a chance in the first place.

  Later days, Newt.

Anthony Weiner: Jon Stewart Style

  Anthony Weiner is the comedic gift that keeps on giving and Stewart has a bag full.

The Wangover


“You don’t need a degree in economics to grasp the logic of that.”

Originally posted to on Mon Jun 06, 2011
Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party and Class Warfare Newsletter: The Plutocracy VS the Working Class.

By  bobswern     Mon Jun 06, 2011

Over the past 2-1/2 years, there has been no significant improvement in our nation’s jobless numbers. Residential real estate has gone from bad to worse, eclipsing the depths it reached during our Great Depression. Wall Street’s mortgage behemoths have sucked the lifeblood out of the middle class. There has been no effort to reign in the too-big-to-fail banks, and, as a result of that failure those banks are more powerful now than they were when the President took office. The DoJ has failed to prosecute any of the key people primarily responsible for the mortgage industry’s blatantly fraudulent practices of the past decade–practices which got us into this mess in the first place. And, income inequality between our nation’s haves and have-nots has worsened to the point where it, too, is now setting records unseen since reliable metrics were first implemented to measure those class disparities, back in the nineteen-teens.

Throughout the development of these inconvenient truths in our society over the past few years, there has been much bipartisan chatter about righting these wrongs via “shared sacrifice” amongst the haves and have-nots within our society. But, the truth is that the middle and lower classes are paying the freight for the past three decades of Wall Street’s (and the top 10% of our society that–depending upon which numbers you believe–owns somewhere between 92% and 98.5% of all marketable investment vehicles sold by the U.S. financial services sector) ongoing privatization of its profits and socialization of its losses. It’s to the point where this is not just the truth, but, unlike most inconvenient truths such as this, it’s become the political zeitgeist of our time, as well…at least everywhere but in Washington, D.C. and parts of southern Manhattan.

Today, I’m asking Democrats the basic question: “Where is our party going as far as all of these economic nightmares are concerned?” And, the answers I’m seeing and hearing, based upon MSM stories over the past 48 hours, is everywhere but where our Party’s been successful in past election cycles; and/or, more precisely, in the same direction our Party went just eight (plus or minus) months ago.

Our economy is in crisis. There is a demand problem. IMHO, right now, it transcends our nation’s debt woes (at least if you’re a believer in New Keynesian economic thought, such as I am; and it’s why my posts frequently highlight the commentary of our country’s leading New Keynesian thinkers, such as Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz). It was created by three decades of unbridled pillaging of the underclasses by the status quo. In many ways, it’s getting worse, not better. And, this leads us to the inconvenient truth that–at least from a pragmatic political standpoint–it has not been sufficiently ameliorated by the current Democratic administration.

There are obvious solutions to these problems.

(Diarist’s Note: Naked Capitalism Publisher Yves Smith has authorized diarist to reproduced her blog’s posts in their entirety for the benefit of the DKos community.)

“Debtors’ Prison”: Bob Kuttner on the Costs of Rentier Rule
Yves Smith
Naked Capitalism
June 6th, 2011

Bob Kuttner has an elegant and important article at American Prospect, “Debtors’ Prison“. It’s an evocative, historical form of the argument made here and elsewhere: that advanced economies have gone down a disastrously bad path in not writing down debt that can’t realistically be paid.

The usual poster child for “why not writing down debts is a bad idea” is Japan, but that isn’t gripping enough to evoke the right responses. Even though its post-bubble growth has been dreadful, Japan is still a well-run, tidy country with a low crime rate, universal health care, long life expectancy, and tolerable unemployment. That in turn is due to factors that do not obtain much of anywhere else: Japan was very cohesive to begin with, and its elites chose to have their incomes fall relative to everyone else to save jobs. Wage compression at large companies has increased dramatically. This is the polar opposite of what has happened in the rest of the world, where the gap between the haves and the have-nots has widened.

Kuttner provides another set of examples as to why we need to get the creditor boot off all our necks:

Economic history is filled with bouts of financial euphoria followed by painful mornings after. When nations awake saddled with debts incurred to finance wars, episodes of failed speculation, or grand projects that haven’t paid off, they have two choices. Either the creditor class prevails at the expense of everyone else, or governments find ways to reduce the debt burden so that the productive power of the economy can recover…

The creditor class views anything less than full debt repayment as the collapse of economic civilization. In fact, however, debts are often not paid in full….Bankruptcy ingeniously provides orderly relief from past debt so that the productive enterprise is not needlessly destroyed….But the same business elite looks askance when others—homeowners, small nations, the entire economic system—seek relief from punishing and economically perverse debt….

History’s two great negative and positive examples of how to deal with unsustainable debt are the periods after the two world wars. At the 1919 Versailles peace conference, the creditor mentality prevailed, and Europe’s postwar recovery was aborted. Britain and France imagined they could bleed defeated Germany to pay off their own immense war debts (mostly to the United States). Britain also pursued tight money to keep its own currency valued at prewar levels, in order to protect the creditor class.

The policy wrecked the German economy and kept British unemployment above 10 percent for two decades. The great critic of Britain’s folly was John Maynard Keynes, then an adviser to the British Treasury. Keynes’ 1919 book, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, prophetically warned that the policy of squeezing Germany until “the pips squeak” would cause depression and a second war. After World War II, history history gave Keynes a chance do it right. His Bretton Woods system emphasized domestic recovery in the defeated as well as the victorious powers and created a global monetary system in which private financial speculators were denied the power to compel nations to pursue deflation.

Today, that expansionary logic has been reversed and creditors are once again hegemonic. Banks want cheap money for themselves, draconian terms for others. The banker-afflicted European Union is punishing Greece rather than finding a way to let it grow. In the United States, relief is denied to underwater homeowners because debt contracts are sacred, even as the policy prolongs the agony. Everywhere, budget austerity is advertised as the road to growth— though it denies the economy its productive potential.

Just as Lenin said capitalists would sell him the rope with which he would hang them, so too do ordinary people seem to be putting their necks in the banking class debt noose by siding with the rentier austerity logic. Until they decided to loot entire economies, the first thing that would cross a lender’s mind when his borrower got in trouble is whether he was worth more dead or alive. Normally, the answer is “alive” and restructurings and reschedulings were the norm. Now we are told, falsely, that it is a moral duty to pay every debt in full, when these are commercial transactions.

Non-payment has bad consequences for the borrower, so unless they were scamsters, they don’t do it frivolously. But as Kuttner points out, the perverted logic of grinding down borrowers takes the entire economy down with it. It’s ultimately a lose-lose, but having secured political control, it’s going to prove hard to save them and us from their self-destructive behavior.

But, instead of clearly and aggressively supporting additional, major jobs initiatives, substantial (not piecemeal) Main Street stimuli, and correcting the damage inflicted by decades of neoconservative rule we are learning, over the past few days, that our Party has opted to pander to the Milton Friedman school of economic fail.

Indeed, while we’ve just been told by our nation’s leaders that they must be careful what they say for fear of undermining financial markets, when it comes to defunding critical programs that benefit the vast majority of our population on Main Street, that’s fair game?

Let’s visit where this contorted meme is about about to take us in the upcoming election cycle, based upon the most-recently-reported ruminations of our party’s leadership...

Obama Retools 2008 Machine for Tough Run
Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg
New York Times
June 5, 2011

…a grass-roots movement that had been the envy of Republicans in 2008…has shown severe signs of strain over two years of partisan rancor in Washington and economic struggle across the country.

But for all of the planning, the biggest challenges of the election remain largely out of the organizers’ control, as the bleak jobs report on Friday showed.

So uncertain are the economic indicators that Mr. Obama’s aides say they have not fully settled on an overarching campaign theme for next year.

For now, the president faces a delicate task in arguing that things have improved under his watch when they remain so grim for so many — and that the programs he has put in place are working but need time to show their benefits. With their hopes dashed of substantial improvement in unemployment anytime soon, aides indicated that the theme was likely to be less “morning in America” and more “don’t change horses in midstream.”

Mr. Axelrod said: “We’re not going to be putting up a ‘Mission Accomplished’ sign. Part of the message is going to be we have to see these things through.”

In an interview at his Chicago consulting offices, Mr. Axelrod repeatedly said “stability” for the middle class would be central…



At best, come 17 months from now, our nation’s unemployment rate–the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “dressed up” U.3 index–will be around eight percent. And, that’s an optimistic projection when you ignore millions more foreclosures, leading to lesser (not greater) demand among this country’s consumer population, and subsequent, increasing income inequality.

Here’s more on Mr. Axelrod’s “stability” meme.

Economy will force shift in Barack Obama’s 2012 strategy
By Carrie Budoff Brown and Glenn Thrush
June 4, 2011   1:46PM

After months of relatively robust job growth, President Barack Obama and his team must now reckon with the reality that the economy probably won’t be on firm ground during the 2012 campaign — and that he must temper some of the Morning-in-America optimism he’d hoped to run on.

The president has been unable to curb the nation’s nine percent unemployment rate, so he will be forced to put the best possible face on a sputtering recovery.

Democratic strategists say that means adopting an ungainly three-pronged political approach: Talking up economic gains since the darkest days of 2008 and 2009, highlighting a modest job-creation agenda blocked by Republicans and making the case that things would be far worse if the GOP were in charge…

Hmmm…where have we heard this before?

…most daunting to the White House is that Obama has few good tools at his disposal to jump-start the economy in the short term.

By ceding the argument to Republicans that the deficit is the problem, Obama helped steer the focus in Washington to cutting government spending, robbing the White House of its ability to argue for more stimulus measures. At the same time, the rise in fuel prices over the past six months has offset efforts late last year to boost consumer spending and job creation.

Scarecrow’s Nightmare: Austan Goolsbee Defends President Romney’s Economic Plan
Sunday June 5, 2011 7:00 am

If I’d been asleep for the last decade and woke up to ABC This Week’s interview of Presidential economic advisor Austan Goolsbee, I would assume that Mitt Romney won the 2008 election, that he was predictably following Republican dogma about how to recover from a severe financial collapse and recession and that intelligent media folks like Christiane Amanpour were realizing those standard GOP policies aren’t working.

Goolsbee correctly told us that a smart economist wouldn’t get overly excited about one month’s jobs and growth numbers but would instead look at the overall trend. Of course what he wouldn’t want to concede is that GDP grew at a meager annual rate of 1.8 percent over the first three months of 2011 and so far was predicted to grow at only 2.8 percent for the next three. And the overall trend for job growth was still not enough to make a serious dent in unemployment unless you believe taking 5-10 years to get back to full employment is okay.

So Goolsbee was in denial from the opening moment because he didn’t have a decent story to tell even in his own framework. When Amanpour asked him what the Administration could or should be doing to improve conditions, he ticked off items you’d expect to hear from a typical GOP Presidential adviser: we’ve got to get the debt under control; we have a White House effort to identify and get rid of governmental regulations that are preventing the private sector from growing the economy; we should pass “free trade” agreements backed by the Chamber of Commerce; and we should leverage limited public dollars to release billions in private funding for investments.

Goolsbee’s bottom line: “It’s now up to the private sector.” That’s exactly what you’d expect from President Romney’s economic adviser…

Scarecrow then pointed to Krugman’s (and others’) comments on the show to put forth the traditional Democratic response, “…business confidence and concerns about taxes and regulations aren’t the problem: business polls repeatedly show businesses aren’t expanding/hiring much because the demand for their products is weak. Demand is weak because the recession and the housing market crash depleted consumers’ wealth and they’re worried about losing their homes and jobs. You don’t need a degree in economics to grasp the logic of that. When private spending is still depressed, only government spending is keeping the economy afloat, and the stimulus is phasing out.”

It’s ironic that when Austan Goolsbee originally joined the Obama administration much was said of his camera presence, with many pundits noting that his media skills were always considered to be better than most.

Even he’s having a problem spinning this.

Then again, it’s nothing a strong Democratic push for a new, substantial round of stimulus on Main Street couldn’t fix.

You don’t need a degree in political science to grasp the logic of THAT!


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Jon Stewart Press Conference: Weiner

If you did not see the show last night, I have a brief clip for you. It’s mid-week and we can use a laugh.


President Obama — the Defeated One

  From  Sueddeutsche Zeitung  via  Watching America

By Nikolaus Piper
The situation isn’t improving, but is getting worse. The recovery is anemic — after the Internet and housing boom this is a new, bitter experience for the American public.
Translated By Sean Thacker
4 June 2011

Edited by Alex Brewer

Germany - Sueddeutsche Zeitung - Original Article (German)
Things are not bad for U.S. President Obama. His approval ratings are favorable, but a victory in the next presidential election is not certain by a long shot. Obama’s unclear economic policy could be his downfall.
Psephologists and party researchers on both sides of the Atlantic have geared up for Obama’s possible second term as American president to be confirmed in the coming year. Since Osama bin Laden is dead and the Democrats have surprisingly won an almost hopeless special election in New York, Obama’s approval ratings are not stunning, but acceptable. More than 50 percent of Americans are now pleased with his administration. And because the array of possible Republican candidates looks pretty awful, Obama’s electoral victory seems like a sure thing for some people.
All of this speculation is premature because it disregards one central factor: the state of the American economy. “It’s the economy, stupid,” Bill Clinton once said — American elections will be won or lost based on the economic issues.
After the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, Obama’s electoral victory against Republican John McCain had become almost inevitable. The financial crisis and recession are indeed over, thanks to Obama’s policies, but unemployment has barely gone down. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt, no president has won re-election when the unemployment rate on election day was higher than 7.2 percent. What’s bad for Obama is that the rate has risen to an alarming 9.1 percent in the last few months, and that’s two years after the end of the recession.
The situation isn’t improving, but is getting worse. The recovery is anemic — after the Internet and housing boom this is a new, bitter experience for the American public. That said, this weakness comes as anything but a surprise. It was predicted by many economists. Recovery phases after a severe financial crisis are always weak because the excesses that led to the crisis first have to be slowly reduced. That costs growth. Thanks to excellent exports Germany is currently a fortunate exception, but in the USA the rule applies in every economic area.
Consumption is weak because of the fact that over indebted households have to cut back on their expenditures. High oil prices are also taking away purchasing power. Companies are hiring too few people: In May, only 54,000 new jobs were added. Long-term unemployment, a European problem for many years, is now afflicting America. The prices of houses are decreasing, which further destroys wealth.
The public is blaming the president for all of that. The people expect him to create jobs somehow. These expectations must be done away with. Theoretically, another debt-financed economic stimulus package would probably help a little bit, but another one won’t happen given the precarious position of the U.S. budget on its own — not to mention the fact that there would be no majority in Congress for that. New tax cuts — a hit for the Republicans — would be just plain irresponsible. The Federal Reserve has been pushed to its limit. The Fed is still pumping money into the economy, but this program will end this month. If Fed chief Ben Bernanke proposed the idea to extend the money-creation policy once again, he would probably cause an uproar in the financial markets.
So Obama couldn’t create jobs in the short-term even if he wanted to. Many elements of his economic policy — encouraging innovation, improvement on the export front — are right, but they seem to be only temporary.
At the moment, he seems to be defeated. The Republicans have control of the debt. The populists on the street are demanding that the president does something about the high gas prices, which in comparison to Europe are ridiculously low — at least that he allow new deep-sea drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The White House isn’t prepared for all of that: Obama has replaced his entire economic team, with the exception of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Now nobody knows what the president stands for anymore.
Obama must learn to communicate about the economy with his supporters — or former supporters. First, he must make the core of his economic policy clear: What’s important to him? How does he want to solve the country’s difficult problems? And secondly, he has to show that he’s ready to fight for what is right.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Slow With Posting For A Few Days

  One of the joys of being a diabetic is ? There is no joy in being one. I’m not quite sure if what I am thinking is the same as what I am typing, so please bear with me.

  I have spent the past 2 days in a hospital because of massive dehydration which occurred while I was working unloading a truck. That is not a good thing for a diabetic. My mind went on a short vacation, which happens when you suffer major dehydration.

  The hospital which I was taken to totally sucked, as did a couple of the EMT’s who picked me up for the transport.

  I will have more on what I think about the health care system in America, based on my last 2 previous experiences in dealing with the medical establishment. I hope that the hassles in Florida are not representative of the rest of the country.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Sarah Palin’s Knowledge Of American History

  Which you and I know does not exist in the brain of that woman, as was evident just a few days ago with her little speech at Gettysburg’

   I had nothing to do this morning so I went browsing over at the Fox news website, where I ran across this article on Fox’s favorite idiot, Sarah Palin. Of course, it is nothing but a fluff piece and while reading it I realized that Fox news followers really have to be idiots to believe any of this crap.

Each stop on her tour appeals to these conservatives. At the National Archives, she underscored her belief in the Constitution’s primary role in American politics and the need to restore its preeminence, and at Gettysburg she identified with the American military and demonstrated her interest and knowledge of American history.   (emphasis added )

Should she choose not to run ( for President ), every candidate for the Republican presidential nomination will seek her support, and the media will seek her analysis of the candidates and issues.

   The media, with the exception of Fox news, will only seek Palin’s analysis when they need a good laugh or they have placed bets among each other over how ignorant she can appear while giving a speech.

   If this is the best that the Tea Party/Republican Party can do, try again in 2016.


Sunday Morning Talk Show Lineup

  If you are interested in hearing more Republican, and Palin, lies and half-truths, here is where you can find it all.

  There will be no Meet the Press due to coverage of the French Open.


Fox News Sunday: Former Half-Term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R); Roundtable: Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard), Mara Liasson (NPR/FNC), Kimberly Strassel (Wall Street Journal) and John Podesta (Center for American Progress).

State of the Union: Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX); Former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie; Former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn; Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee; Reliable Sources: Nancy Cordes (CBS News); Jeff Jarvis (; Maureen O'Connor (; Jill Abramson (New York Times).

The Chris Matthews Show: Bob Woodward (Washington Post); Helene Cooper (New York Times); Alex Wagner (Politics Daily); John Heilemann (New York Magazine).

Fareed Zakaria GPS: Columbia University Economics Professor Jeffrey Sachs; Harvard University Economics Professor Kenneth Rogoff; Muslim Brotherhood Leader Essam El Erian.

Face the Nation: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R).

This Week: Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee; Paul Krugman (New York Times); Chrystia Freeland (Thomson Reuters); Former Foreign Minister of Jordan Marwan Muasher; Roundtable: Republican Strategist Mark McKinnon, Jonathan Karl (ABC News), Former Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers and Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain.