Saturday, August 13, 2011

Last Call

I'll leave you this evening with the fact Tim Pawlenty believes he can beat the nation's first black President by declaring Obama's first term "Nightfall in America".

I don't know if I can take another 15 months of this.

Happy Birthday To Us!

Heck, I completely forgot we turned three last week here at ZVTS.

Here's to another year with you, our readers, and to Bon The Geek, who is more awesome than you guys can imagine for helping me out.

Governor Goodhair Saves You From Washington

Rick Perry's opening gambit in his run for President?  Telling America not only that he won't do his job, but that America doesn't really need a centralized government anyway.

After weeks and months of speculation, Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) made it official Saturday afternoon, announcing his bid for the Republican nomination for President.

In Charleston, South Carolina, Perry focused on the usual characteristics of both his and Republican ideology, and unsurprisingly targeted President Barack Obama and the left to the delight of his crowd.

"The liberals out there are saying we need to pay more (in taxes)," Perry said, before a loud yell of "No" from the audience. "We are indignant about leaders who won't listen, and the people are not subjects of the government, the government is subject to the people."

"It is up to us to take a stand for freedom, to send a message to Washington, we're taking our future back," he added. "It's time to limit and simplify our taxes in this country." "And we will repeal this President's misguided, 'one sized fits all' government health care plan immediately."

"I'll work to try to make DC as inconsequential in your life as I can."

Because after all he wants the states to tell you who you can and can't marry, what you do with your uterus,  whether or not you get put out on the street after you lose a job, what happens to you when you retire, what happens to you when you get sick, or get in an accident, or anything like that.  The federal government shouldn't do anything to help you.

You're on your own in Rick Perry's America.  Inconsequential, because in reality, it's the corporations that run the place anyway.  Oversight, regulation, monitoring of business?  Inconsequential.  Food safety?  Too intrusive.  Education?  It's a local matter.

In Rick Perry's America, there is no America, just a bunch of states who hate each other.  Hope you have enough money to fend for yourself.

New tag, since he's running:  Governor Goodhair's Inconsequential America.

Cokie's Law Redux

One of Digby's better contributions to the documentation of the decline of American journalism is Cokie's Law, named after ABC and NPR talking head Cokie Roberts:  If you tell a lie enough so that low-information viewers believe it, it becomes growing conventional wisdom, then the truth at hand, and then finally accepted fact.  Lemkin catches Cokie's Law in action on "The S&P Downgrade means we have to cut SS/Medicare".

All this nonsense about S&P’s downgrade “causing” movement in the US stock market (which, as far as the MSM is concerned, is entirely comprised of the Dow Jones index) is wrong. Foolish, even. This has been reported occasionally, and NPR and other political actors are at least slightly tempering the “S&P caused it!” meme.

But it won’t matter. The facts do not matter. Cokie’s Law, the ironclad rule that anything, any information be it merely incorrect or proven to be an outright lie or pure fabrication, once “out there” must be reported as though it is fact. Period. Therefore, as weeks and months pass, the core narrative becomes:
“S&P downgrade caused massive loss of wealth in DJI; therefore Social Security and Medicare must be cut; elimination is the GOP’s preferred outcome, therefore the “sensible center” is merely devastating cuts followed on every few years with more “sensible” cuts until we reach said elimination. This is the only Serious Position possible on the issue when one considers the facts of the S&P downgrade and its devastating impact on the Dow. Why, some say that as much as $1T in wealth evaporated. We simply must act to cut Social Security. Everyone knows it is the problem here.”
There will be nothing else. No other opinion will be allowed, and if directly challenged by the reality of the situation, reporters and pundits will characterize the truth as simply one other fringe “opinion” that the dirty fucking hippies are pushing again, and no better or worse than the obvious fallacy that was created by them simply because said fallacy has been widely reported. When (and if) directly challenged on the ontogeny of said MSM-created fallacy, they will elect to “leave it there,” declare it “complicated,” or, in the case of Cokie herself, sputter about it being “out there.” You heard it here first.

And God help me, I don't see how there's any other way this plays out otherwise.  None.  There's no plan B here, and along with SS/Medicare we're going to see more massive cuts in government programs.  President Obama's not going to be able to stop them because enough Democrats in Congress will agree with the narrative, just like Iraq, Afghanistan, torture, Gitmo, etc.

Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

StupidiNews! Lucky Day Edition

BOULDER COUNTY - Around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday a single-engine plane crashed about a quarter mile from the Boulder County Airport.
The spot where the plane went down was about 150 yards from a home, and near several other homes.
The female pilot onboard had just dropped off four skydivers when she says the power went out and the plane began to descend, according to Boulder County investigators.
The pilot, a 36-year-old woman with Skydive Colorado, was able to walk away with some bumps and bruises. Her name has not been released.
I hope she went to buy a lottery ticket just in case there were any other odds she felt like busting that day.  Anyway, just a reminder that when things look their worst you never stop fighting just in case the cards were going to deal you a winner like this.

AT&T and T-Mobile Deal Takes A Hit

The original bit from Slashdot brought me to the full article. It would seem that due to an accident, AT&T published a document that shed some (bad) light on their intentions and the results of the upcoming merger with T-Mobile.

Yesterday a partially-redacted document briefly appeared on the FCC website --accidentally posted by a law firm working for AT&T on the $39 billion T-Mobile deal (somewhere there's a paralegal looking for work today). While AT&T engaged in damage control telling reporters that the document contained no new information -- our review of the doc shows that's simply not true. Data in the letter undermines AT&T's primary justification for the massive deal, while highlighting how AT&T is willing to pay a huge premium simply to reduce competition and keep T-Mobile out of Sprint's hands.

We've previously discussed how AT&T's claims of job gains and network investment gained by the deal aren't true, with overall network investment actually being reduced with the elimination of T-Mobile. While AT&T and the CWA are busy telling regulators the deal will increase network investment by $8 billion, out of the other side of their mouth AT&T has been telling investors the deal will reduce investment by $10 billion over 6 years. Based on historical averages T-Mobile would have invested $18 billion during that time frame, which means an overall reduction in investment.

Slashdot's article said there is likely a paralegal looking for work today. This happened at such a convenient time I wonder if they didn't just get a huge bonus from one of the many entities who oppose this merger.

Taxing America's Patience, Part 5

Steve Benen makes an outstanding catch from the Iowa debate on Thursday night:  not a single Republican candidate for President would accept deal that would ever raise revenues.

About midway through the event, Byron York asked Rick Santorum about the next phase of the debt-reduction process, as the Murray/Hensarling panel (the “super committee”) begins its work. “Democrats will demand that savings come from a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, maybe $3 in cuts for every $1 in higher taxes,” York noted. “Is there any ratio of cuts to taxes that you would accept? Three to one? Four to one? Or even 10 to one?”

Santorum replied, “No. The answer is no.” He conceded that revenues are down, but argued that was a positive development.

Stop and think about that.  The number one argument from Republicans is that cutting taxes raises revenue because businesses are able to grow more and the investor class has more capital to invest with.  But Santorum concedes that the Bush tax cuts (and President Obama's subsequent middle-class payroll tax cut, the largest middle class tax cut in history mind you) has led to declining revenues.

Now, Santorum goes on to try to explain how declining revenues are good:  because it forces government to cut spending.  The man has never cracked open an econ textbook, surely.  FOX's Bret Baier then asked all the candidates this:

Baier phrased it this way: “I’m going to ask a question to everyone here on the stage. Say you had a deal, a real spending cuts deal, 10-to-1, as Byron said, spending cuts to tax increases…. Who on this stage would walk away from that deal? Can you raise your hand if you feel so strongly about not raising taxes, you’d walk away on the 10-to-1 deal?”

All eight candidates raised their hand. Literally all of them, if offered a debt-reduction deal that’s 10-to-1 in their favor, would simply refuse.

The clown car is a joke.  No wonder S&P downgraded us.  They did so because Republicans cannot be taken seriously on economic and fiscal policy, and they block any and all rational policy by Democrats, policies that overwhelming majorities of Americans favor.  Americans favor a combination of spending cuts and tax increases on those who can afford it.  These are policies that overwhelming majorities of Republican voters favor!

But no.  Every one of these idiots would walk away from a deal like that. No wonder we were downgraded. Republicans are nothing more than destructive, inchoate stupidity.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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