Sunday, July 7, 2013

Last Call For Watermelons

I grew up in small town North Carolina, and hey, glad to see that things haven't changed a damn bit since I left.

A North Carolina town’s Fourth of July parade featured an unusual float this year: a tractor with a Confederate flag mounted on it, dragging a trailer full of watermelons and a sign proclaiming “White History Month.”

The display was part of the Hope Mills, North Carolina Fourth of July parade, The Fayetteville Observer reported Saturday. City officials received numerous complaints about the float.

The trailer was decorated by local farmer Donnie Spell, frequently seen in the town’s local parades riding on his tractor. Much like prior events, Spell had a permit from local officials.

However, local ABC News affiliate WTVD-TV reported that his permit application for Thursday’s parade claimed the trailer’s sign would read: “Watermelons for sale.” Instead, it read: “White History Month, HUG WTE PPL.” 

But hey, if you have a problem with this, you're the racist, right?

Pick Your Poison, Mr. President

The GOP's debt ceiling deal for this year: "Who will you sacrifice to appease the Republican austerity terrorists, Mr. President?  Choose who must suffer or we crash the economy for all."

The idea is to throw in the “kitchen sink” and allow Obama to pick and choose the cuts. “If what makes it easier to find the deal is to go in and pick and choose among a dozen different programs and just grab a little bit from all 12 — instead of a lot from one them — then that works just fine,” Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA), who heads the Republican Study Committee’s budget and spending task force, told the Journal: 

Yeah, and make it all Obama's fault.

For a long-term deal, one that gives Treasury borrowing authority for three-and-a-half years, Obama would have to agree to premium support. The plan to privatize Medicare, perhaps the most controversial aspect of the Ryan budget, is the holy grail for conservatives who say major deficit-reduction can only be achieved by making this type of cut to mandatory spending. “If the president wants to go big, there’s a big idea,” said Rep. Steve Scalise, chairman of the Republican Study Committee.
For a medium-sized increase in the debt-limit, Republicans want Obama to agree to cut spending in the SNAP food stamp program, block-grant Medicaid, or tinker with chained CPI.
For a smaller increase, there is talk of means-testing Social Security, for example, or ending certain agricultural subsidies.
While the menu includes plenty of variables, the underlying strategic goal is to reduce mandatory spending — whatever the scope of the deal. Even at the smallest end of the spectrum — another months-long extension of debt-limit — there is talk of pushing back the eligibility age for Social Security by an equal number of months.

President Obama resisted these tactics last year, but we got stuck with sequestration as a result.  Now the GOP is going to destroy America's economy unless they get their austerity this time.

So what will the austerity terrorists get from America this time?  The end of Medicare?  Social Security?  Medicaid?  Food stamps?  Who will be sacrificed?

Will it be you?

The Campaign To Lie About Obamacare

The Koch Brothers and their minions are happy to spend hundreds of millions on another round of commercials lying about what Obamacare actually does.  The NY Times notes this and apparently doesn't have a problem with this, because the Kochs have enough money to force a "opposing views differ/both sides do it" story.

Republicans have staked much of their near-term political success on the bet that the health care overhaul will be unpopular with Americans as it is implemented in a process that they have warned will be chaotic and frustrating. Many Republicans in Congress have said they would push to repeal the law. 

So far, the persistent criticism of the law has served the party well with its base. Now, Republicans hope it will resonate with swing voters the party needs to recover from its losses last year. 

In a significant strategic shift, Americans for Prosperity is carefully aiming its new campaign at one of those voting blocs: young women. 

“How do I know my family is going to get the care they need?” asks a young mother of two who stars in a commercial, the first in a series that Americans for Prosperity plans to expand to as many as seven states. “Can I really trust the folks in Washington with my family’s health care?” 

Sure, because the federal government doesn't already help provide health care to over a hundred million Americans already through Medicare and Medicaid. What would they know about it, right?

The Campaign Media Analysis Group at Kantar Media estimates that from 2010, when the law was signed, to 2015, $1 billion will be spent on ads that criticize or defend it. That includes ads for candidates who oppose the law. Half of the $1 billion has already been spent, the group said. 

Ask yourself why these guys are spending a billion dollars to lie about the law rather than trying to help states implement it so that it works better.  Ask yourself why the law scares them so much.
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