Monday, December 7, 2009

Last Call

Here's what Harry Reid said today.
"Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all Senate Republicans can come up with is: 'Slow down, stop everything and start over.' If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right.
"When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, some dug in their heels and said, 'slow down.' When women spoke up for the right to speak up -- when they demanded the vote -- some insisted that they simply stop. When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to all citizens, regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today.
"And more recently, when Chairman Chris Dodd of Connecticut - one of the people who will go down in history as a chief champion of the bill before us today - said that Americans should be able to start and take care of their families without fear of losing their jobs, he heard the sane old excuses. Through seven years of fighting and more than one presidential veto, it was: 'Slow down, stop everything and start over.'
"History is repeating itself before our eyes. There are now those who don't think this is the right time to reform health care. But in reality, for many who feel that way, there will never be a good time to reform health care."
And here's how the GOP responded.
Three Republican senators on Monday condemned Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) comments that Republicans who oppose healthcare reform are akin to the opponents of abolition and women's suffrage.

"Folks tend to crack under pressure," said Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) at a press conference. "It is an indication of desperation."

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said he was "personally offended" by the remarks that were "beneath the dignity of the Majority Leader...and the Senate."

Senate Republican Policy Committee chairman John Thune (S.D.) called the comments "inflammatory and irresponsible."
And here's what the Wingers decided was the truth.
It was the GOP that fought slavery and the Democrat Party that battled to preserve it.

It’s the Democrat Party, not the GOP, that boasts an ex-Klansman among its senior leaders.

But don’t confuse Harry Reid with history while he invokes slavery to lambaste the GOP for opposing the government-run health care takeover.
Yes, because the modern Republican party acquitted itself so well on race and gender in the last 60 years.

Is there anyone who still takes these idiots seriously, or does anyone else see the Republicans desperately manufacturing poutrage in order to delay health care reform more?

Our two party system is broken. The Dems have problems, but the Republicans don't even count as a political party anymore...they are just an angry mob.

Your ODI Update

Rasmussen's arbitrary We Hate Obama number is at -11, but for the first time, Obama's average has his disapproval higher than his approval at 47.8%,  bringing the ODI down a bit to -9.2.

Amazingly enough, this is the closest to zero the ODI has been pretty much since inception.

Tedd Petruna, Action Zero

Oh my my my.  The Petruna Story rocks TPM has gotten a hold of it, and Petruna's sticking with it besides, you know, not being on the plane.
Reached at the Johnson Space Center's Neutral Buoyancy Lab this morning, Petruna told TPMmuckraker that despite AirTran's assertion, he was on the flight. He wouldn't say much, though, because "I'm in the middle of a lawsuit about this right now." We're not sure whether a lawsuit has actually been filed or what it would be about, though Petruna told Schlussel, the right-wing columnist, that he was mulling a defamation suit.
"The whole e-mail went out accidentally; it was not supposed to go nationwide," Petruna told TPMmuckraker. "It was supposed to go out to family and friends, and the next thing I know it's a firestorm."
Gene Hackemack, one of the friends who has apparently been distributing the email, introduced it with his opinion that "the muslims are all getting very brave now, since they have one of their own in the white Tedd's story below."

There's one other wrinkle to the story: Petruna sent the e-mail out from an account marked "Petruna, Tedd J. (JSC-DX12)[RAYTHEON TECHNICAL SERVICES COMPANY]." Raytheon partners with NASA on the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, where Petruna is a diver. And Petruna told us he works for Raytheon as well as NASA.

But Raytheon spokesman Jon Kasle tells TPMmuckraker, "This individual is not a Raytheon employee." Kasle says he's not sure why Raytheon's name is on Petruna's e-mail account, and declined to comment on whether the company is looking into the matter.

NASA and AirTran did not immediately respond to a requests for comment.
Oh brother.  What a sack of crap this is.  Petruna has no choice, the Teabagger beast must be fed, and he's the newest morsel.

Pity there won't be anything left of him after the Wingers wring his soul out when he has to retract.

Buying Into The Hype

Ezra's reporting that the notion of the public option as Medicare buy-in is gaining steam.
Sources who have been briefed on the negotiations say that Medicare buy-in is attracting the most interest. Expanding Medicaid is running into more problems, though there's some appeal because, unlike increasing subsidies, expanding Medicaid actually saves you money. There's also ongoing discussion about tightening regulations on insurers, but I don't know the precise menu of options being considered.

The negotiations are fluid right now, and there's nothing close to agreement. But there is interest, and everyone remains at the table. The broader point is that the public option compromise is increasingly becoming a health-care reform compromise, and the focus is returning, usefully, to the goals of the bill. That's good for both moderates and liberals, as everyone who votes for this bill has a stake in seeing it work, and the intense attention to the increasingly weakened public option had begun to distract from the need to improve other elements of the legislation.
Looks like somebody figured out America already has a public option:  it's called Medicare.  Why not expand it to include pretty much everyone?

Now, how far this will go and how many red states will opt out, I have no idea.  But in the end, this juuuust might work.

Then again, it really may be a case of  "Why reinvent the wheel?"  Can't wait to see all the Republicans out there who are going to rail on about Medicare horror stories to try to scare people, because Medicare is so terrible and horrendous and hated...

Zandar's Other Thought Of The Day

The Tea Party schism in the GOP is nothing compared to the billions of angry PUMAs the Village is eager to manufacture out of whole cloth saying  "We shoulda picked Hillary instead of the black guy."  Kos:
Politico reporter Daniel Libit sends me this query:
Working on a story with another reporter about the increasing similarity between Barack Obama’s policies and Hillary Clinton’s primary platform and whether Democrats might have viewed the primary differently if they knew then what they know now. Would love to get your thoughts on the state of buyer’s remorse. Might you be able to send me something before day’s out?
My response:
My god, what a stupid premise.
Of course Obama and Clinton had similar platforms. They're both mainstream Democrats! But for a publication addicted to Drudge headlines, what could be better than a screaming headline proclaiming that Democrats had "buyer's remorse", even if that sentiment was wholly manufactured by Politico reporters?
Mmm, tastes like Pulitzer there.

Tea Party Third Party

Rasmussen has put forth another interesting question, they've polled the public on a generic ballot for the Dems and the Republicans...and the mythical Tea Party.

The Republicans came in dead last, behind even undecideds.
In a three-way Generic Ballot test, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Democrats attracting 36% of the vote. The Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided.
Among voters not affiliated with either major party, the Tea Party comes out on top. Thirty-three percent (33%) prefer the Tea Party candidate, and 30% are undecided. Twenty-five percent (25%) would vote for a Democrat, and just 12% prefer the GOP.

Among Republican voters, 39% say they’d vote for the GOP candidate, but 33% favor the Tea Party option.
For this survey, the respondents were asked to assume that the Tea Party movement organized as a new political party. In practical terms, it is unlikely that a true third-party option would perform as well as the polling data indicates. The rules of the election process—written by Republicans and Democrats--provide substantial advantages for the two established major parties. The more conventional route in the United States is for a potential third-party force to overtake one of the existing parties.
The Hoffman Effect rolls on.  There's now an active, gaping schism between the party of Bush and Reagan and the party of Palin and Limbaugh.  The GOP is in serious, serious trouble...far more than the Dems.

Right now even a made-up political party is more popular than the GOP.

As in, "these idiots."  They are more popular than the Republican Party.

Take A Deep Breath, Guys

The EPA is apparently serious about its decision today to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Business groups, led by the US Chamber of Commerce, are blowing a lot of hot air as Yggy says:
The idea that the EPA is going to transform the United States into a command-and-control economy is overblown. But it’s quite true that EPA efforts will be both less effective at combating climate change and also more expensive per unit of pollution-reduction than would be some alternative schemes. For example, the ACES bill steered through the House by Henry Waxman, Nancy Pelosi, and Ed Markey would be better on both fronts. But you don’t see the Chamber of Commerce or the NAM backing ACES. Even better than ACES from an economic point of view would be a bill with fewer side-deals, more auctioning of permits, and more rebates of the funds to the population. But you don’t see the Chamber or the NAM backing that, either. They just want to somehow sweep the whole problem under the rug and leave it up to their grandkids to suffer the consequences. There are a wide range of policy approaches that are consistent with the goal of averting catastrophic climate change, but this do nothing stance is not acceptable.
As the NY Times reports, it gives Obama a major card to play at Copenhagen next week.
(More after the jump...)

Far And Away

Sarah Palin's book tour continues as it hits Iowa, and if you think she's not running for Obama's job 3 years from now, you've not been paying attention.
Palin’s stop at a Barnes & Noble Inc. bookstore at the Southern Hills Mall in Sioux City was her first trip to the state since she ran last year on a losing ticket with Senator John McCain of Arizona.
The former Alaska governor exited a sport utility vehicle and waved to dozens of people outside before signing copies of her book.

“Thank you guys very much,” she said, as she arrived at a mall in the largest city in Republican-leaning northwest Iowa.

McCain said yesterday that he maintains a good relationship with Palin and is proud of her.
Sure he is.  Do you think anyone will remember Sarah Palin's last government position was where she simply up and quit as Governor of Alaska?
“We need vigorous discussion and debate in the Republican Party,” McCain said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday. “She’s going to be a big part of that discussion and debate in the future.”
At least a dozen people spent the night outside the mall as temperatures dropped to the mid-teens, with others including JoAnn Drews arriving after sunrise.

“Do I want her for my president?” asked Drews, 74, of Yutan, Nebraska. “I don’t think so, but she’s a very good person.”

An Iowa Poll taken Nov. 8-11 by the Des Moines Register newspaper showed 68 percent of Iowa Republicans view Palin favorably. That is almost as high as the 70 percent favorability recorded for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won the state’s 2008 Republican presidential caucuses. The poll has a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.
No, but what?  If she's not running for President, what is she running for?  And if she's not going to make a good President...what's she up to?  Because this sure looks like an Iowa campaign stop to me...

...because after all, Hawaii is a little scary for her.

The Great Hope In 2012

From Crooks & Liars:

Gen. David Petraeus may be registered as a Republican but he didn't vote for John McCain for president in 2008. When Petraeus became a two-star general in 2002 he stopped voting. "When I was promoted to major general, it seemed like a quiet thing at the time, but it's perhaps taken on bigger ramifications," Petraeus told Fox News' Chris Wallace Sunday.

But the general continues to speak to partisan organizations. "I've spoken to AEI before. I've spoken to the Heritage Foundation and I've spoken to elements on the other side of the spectrum," said Petraeus.
I honestly think the Draft Petraeus movement is going to end up dwarfing the Cheney and Palin movements as we get closer to 2012.  I'm honestly surprised Chris Wallace isn't crying here, pleading with him, on his knees, begging.

And they said Obama had a messianic cult?  Brother, you ain't seen nothin' yet.  Going ahead and adding the tag:  Gen. David Petraeus.

It Takes A Village Of Hundreds To Hold Obama Back

Via John Cole, here's President Obama on the Village and his recent trip to Asia:
I mentioned that I was in Asia on this trip thinking about the economy, when I sat down for a round of interviews. Not one of them asked me about Asia. Not one of them asked me about the economy. I was asked several times about had I read Sarah Palin’s book. (Laughter.) True. But it’s an indication of how our political debate doesn’t match up with what we need to do and where we need to go.
Took him long enough to understand that the Village is most certainly part of the problem in Washington.  Question is, what can he do about it?  Going to the blog news outlets is certainly a start.  Bush did too, and he was able to get his message out on the right-wing blogs pretty loudly.  No reason Obama can't do the same on the other direction...and more intelligently, Obama is embracing the blogs on all sides of the spectrum.

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

Hey Tiger Woods spam guy, go bug Colonel Mustard's blog. I mean he deserves it, because after all he thinks all black people secretly hate Tiger because he married a white woman, so that basically justifies all racism against blacks.

Nice guy, Colonel Mustard...

The Kroog Versus Carbon

Paul Krugman makes the economic case for cap and trade legislation as the Copenhagen talks begin today on climate change, arguing that limiting carbon emissions through cap and trade should excite the Right:  it's applied fiscal conservatism that has worked before.
The truth is that conservatives who predict economic doom if we try to fight climate change are betraying their own principles. They claim to believe that capitalism is infinitely adaptable, that the magic of the marketplace can deal with any problem. But for some reason they insist that cap and trade — a system specifically designed to bring the power of market incentives to bear on environmental problems — can’t work.
Well, they’re wrong — again. For we’ve been here before.

The acid rain controversy of the 1980s was in many respects a dress rehearsal for today’s fight over climate change. Then as now, right-wing ideologues denied the science. Then as now, industry groups claimed that any attempt to limit emissions would inflict grievous economic harm.

But in 1990 the United States went ahead anyway with a cap-and-trade system for sulfur dioxide. And guess what. It worked, delivering a sharp reduction in pollution at lower-than-predicted cost.
Curbing greenhouse gases will be a much bigger and more complex task — but we’re likely to be surprised at how easy it is once we get started.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that by 2050 the emissions limits in recent proposed legislation would reduce real G.D.P. by between 1 percent and 3.5 percent from what it would otherwise have been. If we split the difference, that says that emissions limits would slow the economy’s annual growth over the next 40 years by around one-twentieth of a percentage point — from 2.37 percent to 2.32 percent.
That’s not much. Yet if the acid rain experience is any guide, the true cost is likely to be even lower.

Still, should we be starting a project like this when the economy is depressed? Yes, we should — in fact, this is an especially good time to act, because the prospect of climate-change legislation could spur more investment spending.

Consider, for example, the case of investment in office buildings. Right now, with vacancy rates soaring and rents plunging, there’s not much reason to start new buildings. But suppose that a corporation that already owns buildings learns that over the next few years there will be growing incentives to make those buildings more energy-efficient. Then it might well decide to start the retrofitting now, when construction workers are easy to find and material prices are low.

The same logic would apply to many parts of the economy, so that climate change legislation would probably mean more investment over all. And more investment spending is exactly what the economy needs.
It's a solid argument:  reduced cost to businesses, investment spending to help the economy, and it will help save the planet.  The 1990 acid rain argument is especially powerful, and it's the best economic case for cap and trade that I've seen yet.

Pity Republicans and business groups refuse to listen.  Individual businesses on the other hand are coming around, because they see big opportunity in the carbon market and they want in.  That's what Congress needs to mandate.


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