Thursday, April 5, 2012

Last Call

I bet you didn't know President Obama's greatest feat of Kenyan Socialist Witch Doctor voodoo so far this campaign season was mind-controlling the WaPo's Chris Cillizza to write this.

In what was a defining speech of his 2012 reelection campaign, Obama repeatedly called out Ryan and Republicans for their “laughable” approach to deficit reduction, describing the budget plan put forward by the Wisconsin Republican as a “Trojan horse”. Added Obama: “Disguised as deficit reduction plans, it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It is thinly veiled social Darwinism.”

Them’s fighting words. And, they make clear that a major part of Obama’s strategy heading toward November is to make Ryan — and the budget plans he has proposed in each of the last two years — famous or, more accurately, infamous. (Make sure to read Ezra Klein’s smart piece on Obama’s efforts to elevate Ryan.)

Knowing now that Obama is going to go all-out on the Ryan plan, it makes an increasing amount of sense for Romney to not only fully embrace the plan (as he has done) but to fully embrace the man too.

It’s not hard to imagine this thought in Romney headquarters this morning: You want to make the Ryan plan the centerpiece of this campaign? Fine. Game on. That’s a fight we want.


OK, let me start again, I should really take the idea of a Romney/Paul ticket seri--BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Do it, Mittens.  Forever make this about the bland CEO who made a killing firing American workers and cashing in their companies out from under them and team him up with the bland government wonk who wants to makes a killing adding a profit margin to Grandma's health care plan and tossing millions off of food stamps and Medicaid.  Do it now, for all the Reasons.

Obama would win by 20 points.  Republicans cannot be this stupid.

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

Scary black guy is scary.

Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) on Tuesday accused President Obama of "threatening" the Supreme Court as it prepares a ruling on the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law.
Speaking a day after Obama warned against "unelected" judges overturning the law, Johanns said Obama crossed the line with his remarks.
"What President Obama is doing here isn't right," Johanns said Tuesday in an interview with local Nebraska radio station KLIN. "It is threatening, it is intimidating."

Seven more months of "But he's The Uppity Kenyan Colonialist Gangsta Thug!  Hide your nubile daughters!" is going to be awesome like a migraine surrounded by smaller autonomous migraines.  Then again, it's not like Republicans can run on issues or anything, so the full court press on BLOOGITY BLOO HE'S BLACK is pretty much their entire hand at this point.

I for one think people would remember 15 months of this in 2007-2008 not working, but it really hasn't stopped these guys from regularly visiting the dog whistle factory, ordering crates of dog whistles, melting them down into slag and then using the slag to paint HE'S BLACK in 50 foot tall letters on the side of every skyscraper in America as a stimulus project.

I swear if the President ever gave anyone the side-eye, there would be Articles of Banishment to the Phantom Zone before the end of the day.

Greek Fire, Part 54

After burning low for most of March, April has seen the Greek Fire explode to become The Pain In Spain as Spanish bond spreads are rapidly approaching record numbers on crippling unemployment and a hollowed-out bank sector.

Spanish 10-year yields were 12 basis points higher at 5.84 percent, after rising around 30 bps on Wednesday. The yield differential over Bunds, at 411 bps, was its widest since late November, before the European Central Bank flooded the banking system with a trillion euros of three-year cash.

"There's been a lot of negative news on Spain over a sustained period of time but market sentiment was being buoyed by strong auction results until yesterday," said Rabobank rate strategist Lyn Graham-Taylor.

"It's quite a dangerous time and if the market starts to panic then the sky's the limit (for borrowing costs), although you may see some policy action come into play."

The Spanish/German yield spread was around 475 bps in November, even with the ECB buying bonds in the secondary market, a programme that has been mostly dormant this year.

ECB President Mario Draghi said on Wednesday that any talk of a withdrawal of the exceptional crisis-fighting measures would be premature.

Equivalent Italian yields, which are being dragged higher in tandem with Spain, were up 13 basis points at 5.52 percent. Shorter-dated paper in both countries underperformed.

"It looked like we were over the worst of it with the three-year (ECB funding operation) and Greece (debt restructuring) out of the way ... but now with the focus on Spain and Portugal we're looking at a different kettle of fish," a trader said.

Same kettle.  Same fish.  Only they stink worse now.  The Greek Fire just burns and burns, and while you might put it out temporarily in one EU country, it simply pops up and reignites in another one of the PIIGS countries like flaming whack-a-mole.  The hope that Europe had settled down and gotten things under control was just that: hope.

I said six weeks ago agreeing with Felix Salmon that the EU had bought itself several months.  It looks like the EU won't even get two months at this rate before having to intervene in Spain, Italy, and Portugal.  Only this time, there won't be any money to do it with.

European debt crisis?  Never went away, folks.  It's still the biggest economic story of 2012 and the economy here depends entirely on what happens in the EU over the next few weeks.

Strap in.  Gonna get ugly.

Oprah Smokes Pot?

Of course she has.  Despite what we're told, there are precious few people who never have and never will smoke pot.  Still, the TMZ video is pretty fun.

I especially like the old trick of repeating back a question while thinking furiously about what words to use. She was actually pretty graceful and in the only way she could be honest, honest.

Endorsing Execution Of Gays Is A Exciting New Low For Bachmann

Rachel Maddow took musician Bradlee Dead to task for the following quote:

"The Muslims are calling for the execution of homosexuals in America. They themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of of Judeo-Christian God. But they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination. If Americans won’t enforce the laws, God will raise a foreign enemy to do just that."
When pressed recently, he refused to answer with a yes or no, but said his quote was taken out of context.  I'm wondering what context could have possibly made that not sound batshit crazy.  I mean, now that women, gays, poor people and slutty girls are under the gun means the mask can come off, right?  Let's just be out with it and call to kill the people who don't live the way you think they should, is that it?  Is that really it?

According to Michele Bachmann, it is. "This ministry, 'You Can Run But You Cannot Hide,' they are not sidetracked, they're on course," Bachmann intoned. "They're way on course. Because they get it. They get what this is all about."

So do we, toots.  According to idiots like Bachmann, if you act up by exercising freedom of religion or freedom in general, you don't deserve your government's service.  In fact, you should just be shot.  Message received, oh discreet one.

A Peek Inside The Echo Chamber

The wingers are having a collective breakdown over the President's comments this week, first on the gravity of the Supreme Court's ruling on health care reform on Monday, and second his remarks on the GOP's House budget on Tuesday.  His critics are in nothing short of complete apoplexy right now, barely able to type without collapsing into inchoate rage.

"Barack Obama, Constitutional Ignoramus" declares Power Line's Steven Hayward as he accuses the President of "extreme constitutional ignorance".  Commentary Magazine's John Steele Gordon says there's "simply no lie President Obama will not tell in pursuit of his agenda."  Allahpundit at Hot Air notes that in retaliation for "moronic" speech that a Fifth Circuit Reagan appointee went after a DOJ lawyer, demanding that she explain "her boss's" comments to him in written form before the court.
 This is all over the President daring to say that the Supreme Court should practice the conservative tenet of judicial restraint.  For this, he is a liar, an ignoramus, and a moron.  Projection much, gentlemen?

Oh, and it gets worse.  Yesterday's remarks on the GOP budget were treated with similar outright hatred.  the President pointed out that the Ryan plan was cynical, and that it represented a failure on the part of the myth of trickle-down prosperity.  The words clearly hit home.  Yuval Levin at National Review sputtered that his speech "was basically just a long, dishonest way of saying the same astonishingly irresponsible thing."  Townhall's Guy Benson declared it "Obama's worst speech yet" and thundered that it was "what very well may have been the most dishonest, demagogic, and bitterly partisan speech of his presidency."  Allahpundit (again) remarked "Do we actually have to start a Godwin watch for this campaign?"

Just because these leading lights of the wingnutosphere say it, doesn't make it the truth.  But at this point any speech that President Obama makes from now on will be treated as if he took a steaming dump on the Constitution and then lit it on fire.  And it's only April.  The projection here of these guys is extraordinary, and yet any rational observer should have expected this the moment it looked like the GOP primary was in its endgame.  That's what has happened this week, and the response is clearly a harbinger of far more terrible things to come.

I keep having to believe that the goal here is to just treat everything the President does with such unremitting rancor that America simply walks away from the entire political process and leaves it to the fanatics.  It worked well enough in 2010.  We have our work cut out for us in 2012, which is one of the main reasons I'm here.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Work

It appears that Iowa Republican Steve King is strongly suggesting that if you're sexual preference is anything other than straight, you should not inform your boss or co-workers or clients at all in order to spare the job creators of the awful, intolerable hell of having to deal with laws that protect employees from being fired solely for sexual preference.

Here's his conversation on sexual orientation at the workplace with Think Progress's Scott Keyes:

KEYES: Would that encompass, for instance, the government being able to tell businesses who they can hire and fire?
KING: Yeah, they shouldn’t be able to do that [to] a private business.
KEYES: Even if those were to be regulations say on a matter of sexual orientation or gender or other stuff like that?
KING: How do you know someone’s sexual orientation? I don’t know how you discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation. That’s their business.
KEYES: I guess if it became public knowledge that an employee were lesbian or gay.
KING: You have private sector businesses here and they need to have freedom to operate. In the first place, I would think that unless someone makes their sexuality public, it’s not anybody’s business, so neither is it our business to tell an employer who to hire. He won’t know who to discriminate against in the first place.


So yes,  apparently the solution for LGBT equality in the workplace is for everyone to go back into the closet and institute Don't Ask, Don't Tell because if employers don't know you're gay, then nobody can fired for being gay, so we don't need laws protecting gays.  Problem solved!

If gay people didn't exist, in other words, there would be no need for the government to protect them.  Awesome.  And this is a member of Congress saying this, ladies and gentlemen, who is on the House Judiciary Committee and the Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution who is making this argument.

So frankly, I don't want to hear a word about how President Obama is an "ignoramus" or a "moron" when it comes to legal affairs (or anything else for that matter) when the Republican alternative includes people making laws who believe actually ignorant things like this about how the laws they craft should work.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell for your workplace?  Yes, let's put everyone back in the closet.  While we're at it, let's all go to work in giant featureless hermetically sealed sacks so that we don't have to tell anyone if we're black, Asian, Latino, female, tall, short, or whatever too.  What King really wants is for the LGBT community to simply stop existing so that he doesn't have to deal with it.

Pretty sure that's not going to happen.


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