Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Last Call For The Laughed-At Curve

Art Laffer, "conservatism's foremost economist", explains the minimum wage to FOX News viewers.

"Honestly the minimum wage makes no sense to me, it's just the teenage -- black teenage unemployment act..."

Because in FOXland, only those people make minimum wage.  So why raise it?  Laffer goes on to say we should abolish the minimum wage for black teenagers so they don't have to actually be paid or anything while learning "the skills they need to become productive members of society."  After all, if we could pay those people less, we could hire a lot more of them.  Heck, if we made them work for no money, we could hire infinite black teenagers. Voila!  Job creation!

I understand we tried that 400 years ago, too.

Snark aside, convincing FOX News viewers that the minimum wage only helps minorities makes it a lot easier to sell abolishing it as a political plank for the GOP, yes?

Chris Christie In 2016? Fah-Bridgegate-aboudit

New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie officially has a scandal and cover-up on his hands as new evidence from a NJ newspaper directly links his office to an effort to use the state's port authority to cause massive traffic headaches for an entire town in order to punish a mayor who wouldn't back Christie's re-election bid last year.

A cache of private messages between Governor’s Christie’s deputy chief of staff and his two top executives at the Port Authority reveal a vindictive effort to create “traffic problems in Fort Lee,” apparent pleasure at the resulting gridlock, and insults used to refer to the borough’s mayor, who had failed to endorse Christie for re-election. 
The documents obtained by The Record also raise serious doubts about months of claims by the Christie administration that the September closures of local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge were part of a traffic study initiated solely by the Port Authority. Instead, they show that one of the governor’s top aides was deeply involved in the decision to choke off the borough’s access to the bridge, and they provide the strongest indication yet that it was part of a politically-motivated vendetta – a notion that Christie has publicly denied.

He can't deny it any more.

In mid-August, just a few weeks before the lane closures, Bridget Anne Kelly, one of three deputies on Christie’s senior staff, emailed David Wildstein, the top Christie executive at the Port Authority who ordered the closures. 
Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” she told him. “Got it,” he replied
Though the governor publicly ridiculed the very idea that his office was involved, we now know with certainty that what Christie said wasn’t true. Christie’s deputy chief of staff was directly involved in planning the incident and even received updates from Wildstein before their plan was set in motion.

For all the projection by screaming wingnuts involving President Obama and the "victimization" of Republicans, when Republicans actually get the power of government, they use it to exact revenge on people who didn't vote for them.  That's par for the course, but Christie lied to New Jersey voters and the country about not being involved in this mess when he clearly was.

Christie just got caught.  Now the George Washington Bridge is tied around his neck.  Going to make it hard for him in 2016, and it should have made it hard for him to get re-elected n 2013 as Governor.

The same article highlights text messages between Wildstein and an unnamed official in which they mocked the traffic paralysis they imposed on Fort Lee and ridiculed the local mayor, Mark Sokolich. In reference to school buses that couldn’t help children get to school on time, Wildstein specifically wrote, “They are the children of [Christie's 2013 opponent for Governor Barbara] Buono voters.”

So no, Christie wasn't above screwing with the kids of people in heavily Democratic areas of the state and would have been more likely to vote for his political opponent.  What say you, Barbara Buono?

“When I heard about it when it initially surfaced in September, I knew it was an act of political retribution,” Buono told the Daily Beast. “And to suggest that Christie wasn’t aware and didn’t direct it, I thought was ludicrous at the time.” 
“This is a guy who runs a paramilitary operation,” she added. “His people don’t sneeze without checking with him first. But I think what really was the most damning [revelation] was the cavalier attitude that these folks had about subjecting children and the public to public safety hazards. These are terrible people, and the ringleader is Chris Christie.”

Your move, Chris.

Kingmaker Of Wishful Thinking

If you thought FOX News chairman Roger Ailes's job was to run a news channel, well, somebody forgot to tell Roger Ailes as a new biography by Gabriel Sherman tells all:

Roger Ailes was so eager to influence national politics that in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election, he told fellow Fox News executives point-blank: “I want to elect the next president.”

Imagine the endless winger uproar, multiple GOP House hearings, and constant screaming about "biased liberal media" if anyone at MSNBC, CNN, or the other three news networks said the same.  FOX News is the propaganda arm of the GOP.  Period.

The book describes in detail Mr. Ailes’s professional ambition, his desire to influence American politics through a conservative prism, and his status as a visionary who possessed an intuitive understanding of the power of television to shape public opinion. Before entering the corporate world, Mr. Ailes was a political consultant, and Mr. Sherman’s book credits him with being a pioneer in using television during election campaigns.

Again, FOX News is not a news agency.  It is a propaganda mill for the Republican Party, and that is Ailes's stated goal, to use the network to promote Republicans and trash Democrats.

So why is it treated as a serious news outlet and not a political entity?

Despite being unsatisfied with many of the Republican candidates for president in 2012, Mr. Ailes endeavored to promote Mitt Romney on Fox News programs, the book says. Before the Wisconsin congressman Paul D. Ryan was chosen as Mr. Romney’s running mate, Mr. Ailes advised Mr. Ryan that his television skills needed work and recommended a speech coach.

You can thank Roger Ailes for Mitt Romney.  Ailes thought his network could make him your President and tried to do so.  Nobody should be surprised by this, but now that the biggest non-secret in political journalism has been broken wide open, what now?

Maybe somebody in Congress should be asking Roger Ailes why he's working for the GOP, yes?


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