Thursday, May 24, 2012

Last Call

If you want to know why Republicans are so very interested in vote suppression among Latino voters (and minorities in general, but especially Latino voters) at the state level, it's because of this right here:

Less than six months before November’s presidential election, President Obama enjoys a sizable lead over Mitt Romney among Latino voters, according to a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll of Latino respondents.

The challenge for the Obama campaign, however, will be turning out these voters, who aren’t as interested in the election as all other Americans are.

The GOP vote suppression efforts are working at an organic level.  You decrease turnout of minority voters, Republicans win.

In this survey, Obama holds a 34-point lead over Romney among registered Latino voters, 61 to 27 percent. In 2008, according to the exit polls, Obama defeated McCain among this key voting bloc, 67 to 31 percent.

In addition, Obama’s approval rating among all Latino adults stands at 61 percent (compared with 48 percent of all Americans in the new NBC/WSJ poll), and approval of his handling of the economy is at 54 percent (versus 43 percent overall).

Meanwhile, Romney is struggling with Latinos, the poll shows. Just 26 percent view him positively, while 35 percent see him in a negative light. By comparison, Obama’s positive/negative score among Latinos is 58/23 percent.

State efforts like Arizona's ridiculously racist immigration nonsense (mirrored in other Southern states), Voter ID laws, voter ballot language laws, all designed to keep minority turnout down, but it's absolutely weighted towards killing Latino turnout.  If Latino turnout is high, Barack Obama will win, and Democrats will keep the Senate.  If they don't...

But here’s a troubling sign for the Obama campaign: Latinos aren’t as excited about the upcoming election. A combined 68 percent of Latino voters say they are highly interested in the upcoming election (registering an “8”,”9”, or “10” on a 10-point scale). That’s compared with 81 percent of all voters who express high interest.

Getting Latino voters to the polls will decide it in 2012.   The GOP knows it.  They've been preparing for this for years now.  There's a method to this madness, folks.  And it's working for them.

Number Crunched

I was going to engage in my favorite sport of pointing out why Jim Pethokoukis is a meathead, but John Cole handily and beat me to it.

You’d think that would be the end of it. But not when you have outrageous hacks like James Pethokoukis on the case. You all remember him, right? He’s the clown who, in AUGUST OF 2008, was denying that we were in a recession. He then, a few months later in October 2008, was forced to admit we were in recession (since the economy had crashed and the DOW had dropped 5,000 point), decided that the reason the economy tanked and the DOW dropped was because investors were afraid that Obama was leading in the polls, otherwise known as the Goldberg theorem. He later theorized that Obama’s interaction with Joe the Plumber would cost Obama the election. His crimes against reality and reason are so severe that we’ve almost had to dedicate an entire server to document the atrocities, but yet, for some reason, he is still held in some regard in some circle-jerks circles.

Jim attacks this solid article by Rex Nutting at CBS Marketwatch showing that the Obama administration's "record deluge of government spending growth" is in fact...not.

Here are the facts, according to the official government statistics:

• In the 2009 fiscal year — the last of George W. Bush’s presidency — federal spending rose by 17.9% from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion. Check the official numbers at the Office of Management and Budget.

• In fiscal 2010 — the first budget under Obama — spending fell 1.8% to $3.46 trillion.

• In fiscal 2011, spending rose 4.3% to $3.60 trillion.

• In fiscal 2012, spending is set to rise 0.7% to $3.63 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of the budget that was agreed to last August.

• Finally in fiscal 2013 — the final budget of Obama’s term — spending is scheduled to fall 1.3% to $3.58 trillion. Read the CBO’s latest budget outlook.

The big surge in federal spending happened in fiscal 2009, before Obama took office. Since then, spending growth has been relatively flat.

Over Obama’s four budget years, federal spending is on track to rise from $3.52 trillion to $3.58 trillion, an annualized increase of just 0.4%.

There has been no huge increase in spending under the current president, despite what you hear. 

You want to know why deficits have exploded?


And that's because during the recession, revenues have plummeted.  Because Barack Obama cut taxes even more on middle class families and businesses, just like economists advised him to do and Republicans screamed at him to do.  Again, total government spending has remained flat.  Revenues have dropped.  Republicans will never, ever let us raise revenues.  Ever.

And that's where Jim comes in, saying that as a percentage of GDP, spending under Barack Obama was up.  This is true.  You want to know why? 


The economy crashed, to spending remained constant but the GDP contracted.  Therefore spending as a percentage of GDP went up.  That's called "math."  When revenues and GDP both decrease, and spending remains constant, deficits and debt go up.

The other thing that's constant?  Jim Pethokoukis is a hack.

I Believe I Am Detecting A Policy Trend Here

Mitt Romney's solution to public education?  Add profit motive at the expense of the taxpayer.  Actually, that's Mitt Romney's solution to everything, now that I think about it.

Mitt Romney proposed a series of steps to overhaul the public education system, reigniting the debate over school choice as his campaign intensifies its effort to introduce the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to a general-election audience.

The education plan, detailed in a speech today in Washington, would create a voucher-like system to give low- income and disabled students federal funds to attend charter schools, private institutions and public schools outside their district.

“I don’t like the direction of American education, and as president, I will do everything in my power to get education on track for the kids of this great land,” Romney told a gathering of Latino business owners at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

Hey, if vouchers are good enough for Grandma's health care, they're good enough for Junior's edumacation.  Best part:

“President Obama has made his choice, and I have made mine: As president, I will be a champion of real education reform in America, and I won’t let any special interest get in the way,” he said. “We have to stop putting campaign cash ahead of our kids.” 

You know, like the campaign cash from charter school lobbyists eager to take tens of billions in taxpayer dollars and wring out profits rather than graduates.

Even better part:

Romney’s plan wouldn’t increase the federal budget, said domestic policy adviser Oren Cass. 

Just like the Bush tax cuts, am I right?

The Bon Salutes You

A man teeing off at the 14th over the weekend hooked his shot, watched the ball disappear and then heard screams, according to a Murfreesboro Police Department incident report. He followed the scream to find a woman clutching her bloody mouth.
Her husband told police that they were riding their motorcycles when he saw the ball bounce across the road and near her motorcycle. There, it careened into her face. She was able to avoid wrecking her bike, but the ball knocked out “several” teeth, the report said. She was taken to Middle Tennessee Medical Center for treatment.
Scream?  I freaking bet she did.  I don't have the brain processing power to handle so much pain, and with zero time to prepare for it.  And you know what else is incredible?  She kept her bike up.  That is one tough bird, folks.  Stud muffin doesn't even come close to touching this.  It is clear she is riding a motorcycle because those GIANT BRASS BALLS making flying such a hassle.

Dear Lady: If you ever read this, I really did salute you, after horrified tears on your behalf dried up.

Getting It Right: Jim Parsons Comes Out

Jim Parsons is gay, and we know this due to an incredibly dry biography.  He has been in a ten-year relationship, which was also delivered with no emphasis whatsoever.

And that's how it should be.  It means we are moving towards a time when it's just a fact, not circus tickets.  He is not a poster child to be forced into talking about his personal life, and he is not subject to approval.  He's the same awesome guy who made the character Sheldon Cooper come to life like nobody else could.  He is no more and no less talented than he was last week, but in the eyes of some, this will diminish him.  That is a sad reminder that some folks just aren't ready to grow up.

I still love my Shelly Bean, and I imagine most of you do, too.

Oiled Up, Bent Over

Oil prices in May have plummeted $15 a barrel from $105 to under $90 this week as European woes take their toll on crude and drop prices to a new a seven-month low.

Oil prices fell below $90 a barrel for the first time in seven months Wednesday as tumult in the eurozone, excess supply and positive news out of Iran weighed on prices.

Crude oil for July delivery fell as low as $89.55 a barrel, marking a 2% decline before settling at $89.90. The selling spilled across multiple commodities, with gold dropping more than $28 to $1,548.4 an ounce.

"Crude prices are really dropping because of concerns about Europe and optimism about Iran," said Phil Flynn, a market analyst at PFGBest. "That's really what's driving the market right now."

Adding further pressure was the Department of Energy's weekly report that showed crude supplies climbed by 883,000 barrels to 382.5 million barrels.

Once again we're in a situation where decreased demand and increased supply has lowered oil prices.

But not of course gasoline prices.

But just when you thought it was safe to get back into long-road-trip mode, gas prices are climbing in some locations again. "There is no good reason to raise the price based on what is going on in the market right now," AAA spokesman Roger Boyd told The Courier-Journal of Kentucky, where the average price of regular rose 5 cents overnight.

In Clark County, Ohio, "many stations listed gas for $3.59 a gallon Tuesday morning. By 3 p.m., several stations had jumped to $3.79 a gallon," the Springfield News-Sun reports. A GasBuddy analyst said Ohio's average price jumped 6 cents in 24 hours. 

Gotta gouge those drivers ahead of the holiday weekend, you know.

Lies, Damn Lies, And GOP Statistics Involving Planned Parenthood

Republicans just can't tell the truth about Planned Parenthood, and the false outrage they generate is more than enough smoke to cover defunding the organization in state after state.  The latest battleground is Pennsylvania, where lawmakers there are literally hitting cut and paste on Arizona's horrific (and unconstitutional) abortion law, justified by the lie that Planned Parenthood performs an abortion "every 95 seconds."

Following in the footsteps of Republicans in Texas and Arizona, Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R) proposed on Wednesday a bill that would prohibit the Planned Parenthood Federation of America from receiving any taxpayer funding in his state.

Metcalfe was due to appear at a press conference on Wednesday morning with anti-abortion activists who wrote the bill, including representatives from the Alliance Defense Fund and the Susan B. Anthony List. Both groups boast on their websites of how effective they have been in harming Planned Parenthood’s funding, with the Susan B. Anthony List claiming that it played an integral role in sapping more than $61 million from the women’s health provider in legislative battles across the nation.

In a prepared statement describing his bill, Metcalfe invented a number of allegations about the women’s health group, including a bizarre claim that they perform “an abortion every 95 seconds.” A similarly bizarre, admittedly invented claim landed Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) in hot water last April, when he alleged that abortions are “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.”

Planned Parenthood says approximately 3 percent of their patients request referrals for abortion services. The vast majority of their work pertains to preventative care, like cancer and STD screenings, birth control prescriptions and reproductive health education, for lower-income patients who are underserved by the health care industry.

The federal government and many states, including Pennsylvania, have already prohibited Planned Parenthood from using taxpayer funds to carry out abortions.

Less than 3%.  Referrals.  You know, to other clinics where abortions can be performed.   But somehow, that becomes "every 95 seconds" Planned Parenthood is doing this with taxpayer funding because all Republicans have to do is yell SLUT loudly and often enough and women magically lose the ability to determine their own reproductive health choices.

Oh, and while we're at it, let's set some facts straight about the Affordable Care Act and your rights under it, which the GOP is also trying to take away from you.


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