Sunday, October 31, 2010

The fallacy of the reasonable middle

Crazy Extremist: "We have to kill all the kittens!"

Sane 'Extremist': "What?!? No! That's crazy! There's no need to kill any kittens!"

Moderator: "Now, now, none of that namecalling. Compromise is called for. We'll kill half the kittens."


A decade later, as the sane extremist has been repeatedly berated for their extremism, the "kill half the kittens" compromise has become the status quo, the best of a bad situation as it were. The yelling dies down.

Whereupon the crazy extremists again call for killing all the kittens, and the moderator insists on a "compromise" where only three quarters of the kittens die

The sane extremist then - understandably - goes ballistic, and is universally put down for being so impolite

The "middle grounders" are in fact, helping the craziest extremists.

In the presence of effective always-middle-grounders, then, the only reasonable approach is to be even crazier than the other guy. Otherwise, the middle grounders eventually hand all the ground to whoever is craziest.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Think the GOP will reduce the Federal Deficit?

(Click for larger image.)

Hasn't happened since Deficits-R-Us Reagan was elected.

As I have said before Republicans don't believe in government so they can't govern well.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Many Insane People Running This Year

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Because of ignorance and people's desire to "send a statement" and the new shrunken media a lot of these crazies are likely to win.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

GOP reveals its Master Plan: return to Bush years

Despite Obama's fall in the polls he is much more popular than Bush was and the lastest survey even shows people still much prefer him to Bush. So why is the GOP new "Pledge For America" a return to the Bush year policies?

The pledge, their master plan for America, does not reduce the deficit and is mostly pages of platitudes.

It said it was developed from ideas posted on a website set up this Summer for citizens yet they have explicitly rejected the most popular idea - quit providing tax breaks to companies that outsource jobs and promote jobs in America. Nope, no way say Republican leaders.

The most detailed proposals are on health care where they vow to repeal the Democrats health care plan and replace it with - the Democratic health care plan. The proposals they list are already in the existing plan. If they do repeal the health care plan they don't explain how they replace the $140 billion in deficit reduction the plan provides.

They vow to cut taxes, while ignoring the rise in the deficit that will cause.

They have learned to even avoid talking about Medicare and Social Security which are left out of the pledge entirely, with a later admission they want to have frank talks with the American people later about how those are problems.

They vow to cut the deficit, with no serious proposals to cut the deficit and several proposals like tax cuts and repeal of Obamacare that increase the deficit.

No wonder even the Republicans are backing away from this plan when they are not outright condemning it.

It is also no surprise that the "Pledge to America" was put together by a major business lobbyist temporarily working for the Republicans.

Republicans can't govern, they just have experts in marketing from Wall Street. Eventually their empty promises will catch up with them. To answer the question poised at the beginning, they want to return to Bush policies despite their unpopularity and the economic collapse they caused because they have no new ideas.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What Bills Have Republicans Attempted To Block?

Here's just a short list of some of the bills that Republicans have blocked, or attempted to block, since Obama became President:

* Senator Franken’s Anti-Rape Amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill - Makes it so that women raped overseas while working for foreign contractors have the right to have their case heard in an American court instead of having their case mediated by the company they work for. Only Republican men voted against this, but it passed.

* Benefits for Homeless Veterans - Would have expanded benefits to homeless veterans and homeless veterans with children. Republicans blocked this.

* Health Care - Prevents insurance companies from discriminating against you on the basis of "pre-existing conditions". Requires that insurance companies spend 85 cents of every dollar that you pay on your actual health care. Limits health insurance companies profit margins. Republicans blocked this for months before it finally passed.

* Health Care for the 9/11 First Responders who got sick from being at Ground Zero- Would provide billions of dollars in health care to help the 9/11 First Responders who were at Ground Zero on 9/11 and are now sick because of it. Republicans blocked this.

* The Jobs Bill- Offsets the payroll tax for 1 year for companies that hire new employees, or people receiving unemployment insurance. Also gives other tax incentives to companies hiring new employees. Republicans attempted to block this. Small business lending bill- would give LOCAL, community banks access to billions of dollars to loan to small businesses. Republicans blocked this.

* Financial reform - Puts stricter regulations on the banks, preventing them from becoming "too big to fail". Curbs reckless spending practices that caused the banking crisis. Republicans attempted to block this.

* Stimulus Bill - Pumped billions of dollars into state and local governments to prevent us from sinking into a second Great Depression. Republicans opposed this but now want to take credit for the parts of it that we know are successful or the spending in their districts.

* Oil Spill Liability - Raises the liability on what companies can be made to pay to clean up after an oil spill. Republicans blocked this. Political Ad disclosure bill- Would have required all donors to political campaigns to reveal themselves. Republicans blocked this.

* Immigration - Republican suggested comprehensive immigration reform until Obama supported it. Now they're rabidly opposed to it and even voted against their own legislation. Republicans blocked this.

* Unemployment Extension - Would provide additional aid to the millions of Americans still on unemployment who are just trying to support themselves and their familes. Republicans blocked this bill for 8 weeks before it finally passed. Republicans blocked this for 8 weeks before it finally passed.

* Fair Pay Act of 2009 - Also called the Lily Ledbetter bill. Requires that women receive equal compensation to men for doing the same work. Republicans attempted to block this.

**** The next time someone tells you that the Republicans care about the American people just give them this list of all the bills Republicans wanted to fail. ****

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Republicans bad for your income

This is a newer edition of something that has been out there for years.

You usually see charts analyzing income growth under Democratic Presidents versus Republican Presidents and conservatives always respond it is Congress that passes economic and tax policies. This chart does two things, it splits it up by income category and by what branches the parties control.

Click for larger image.

It is obvious the GOP governs to benefit the rich either not caring or mistakenly thinking that benefits everyone. That is wrong. They don't even do as good a job benefiting the rich.

The second response I always get from conservatives is it is a coincidence because government doesn't affect income growth. LOL!!! Remember that when they say Democrats are bad for your pocket book and show them this chart.

There are other charts out there with analysis of other parts of the economy and even government job growth and debt levels and pretty much anything you can shake a stick at. The bottom line is that Republicans don't govern well when they are in control, they don't even meet their stated goals of reducing debt and the size of government. The best thing they do is direct government money to their cronies and tax cuts for the rich, who save it instead of creating jobs. Savings does not create job, creating demand does.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

RADICAL RIGHT - Hate Takes Center Stage

This has been an unfortunate Summer of Hate stirred up by the party of FEAR! and NO!

Looking back, I see these hate and fear campaigns have a long history in America and the haters lose, eventually.

Very little difference between the law and order campaigns, the anti-civil rights campaigns, and the communist hysteria last century and today's summer of hate.

This too shall pass, but we should oppose this fear, hate, and hysteria to remain true to America's best ideals.

RADICAL RIGHT - Hate Takes Center Stage

Sunday, June 13, 2010

You can't just blame government

You can't just blame government which is what Republicans want you to do.

The corruption in offshore drilling regulations were practices put in place by the Bush/Cheney regime and their appointees.

This was similar to how they gutted FEMA and replaced the experienced people with political hacks.

This was also similar to them insisting that Homeland Security be removed from government services guidelines and reinstating the political patronage system.

Again, this is similar to how they staffed Iraq reconstruction making it purely political how appointees were chosen and wasting tens and hundreds of billions of dollars as children of political friends and people active in the right Republican causes were chosen to run projects with no experience.

Government run by the spoils system is spoiled, not government regulations.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Another analysis of the Democratic judicial primaries

Another analysis of the Democratic judicial primaries
In summing up the results, endorsements were important, but some endorsements mattered than others, and campaign funds raised mattered very little. The Houston Black American Democrats endorsement seemed to be the most influential in terms of prospects for victory. Their organizational push to get the vote out seems to have paid off. In addition, being a female candidate was a good predictor of victory, suggesting that Democratic primary voters were more interested in electing women to the bench than men. This could be the result of a concerted effort by organizations devoted to making the judiciary more diverse, or this could be a demographic effect where more women voting in the primary translated into more votes for female candidates.
Generally, all things being equal or being equally ignorant about the candidates, I know many Democrats who vote for the female candidate. There is a perception of less corruption and also the feeling of making up for past under representation.

Play Ball - Texas Round-up of Progressive News

The Texas Progressive Alliance welcomes the start of the new baseball season with another highlight reel of the week's political activity.

Off the Kuff looked at how voting returns changed in Texas from 2004 to 2008 in the Presidential and judicial races.

Aruba Petroleum: The Epic Fail of the Barnett Shale. Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS now brings you 55 posts to document this failure of epic proportions.

Marshmallow Peeps make sweeping endorsements of Democrats on The Texas Cloverleaf.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders why Republicans and Republican suck ups act like bleeping thugs? New Perry appointee, Nueces County DA Jimenez, threw out the board certified attorneys to bring in her cronies and HD 76 rep Norma Chávez is channeling Karl Rove.

A Texas Vox, everyone is a-twitter about the upcoming appliance rebate program. Want to trade up your tired old appliances for shiny new energy-efficient ones? The guv'ment will send you a check for it...

The last chapter (?) in the sad saga of Stay Bailey Hutchison is read aloud by PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Sure April Fools Day is over, but this was funny enough to share again. Sarah Palin to Replace Michael Steele as Chair of the GOP. Bay Area Houston continues to be full of wit.

This week on Left of College Station, Teddy takes a first look at the Bryan mayoral candidates, and this week he will be taking a look at the candidates for College Station City Council Place 2 and Bryan City Council Single Member District 3. Left of College Station also covers the week in headlines.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the GOP's latest posturing and states that it's time for Gov. Perry and the Texas GOP to put up or shut up.

Neil at Texas Liberal wrote about undersea volcanoes in the Gulf of Mexico that shoot out asphalt. Who knew?

WhosPlayin says animal welfare actvists in North Texas are claiming a victory in their fight against puppy mills: After months of weekly picketing by Texans Exposing Petland, the Lewisville, Texas Petland store is closing down.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Quote of the Day

There might have been a time when getting doctors, AARP, hospitals, labor, pharmaceutical companies, and 60 senators on the same side of a piece of legislation would have signaled that this is a moderate, consensus-oriented document that's respectful of the status quo. But in this case, the ferocious opposition of Republicans drove public perceptions about whether the legislation was moderate or not. - Ezra Klein.

Friday, February 26, 2010

No new ideas from Republicans on Health Reform

The two big health "reform" proposals from the conservatives have this much in common. They've been tried and don't work.

Tort reform, caps on medical claims in the legal system, have been in place for years in Texas and other states. There has been NO reduction in costs for patients. There is also no evidence of fewer unnecessary tests and procedures. It is now impossible to get a lawyer to bring a legal claim against a doctor in Texas no matter how badly he screwed up or how drunk he was, even pro-bono, because of the limitations in damages awarded. There has been a slight reduction in insurance premiums for doctors, but that has just increased their income because there has been no reduction in costs to patients.

What there has been is a big increase in insurance company profits, surprise, and an influx of bad doctors from other states fleeing malpractice lawsuits to Texas major metropolitan areas.

Insurance should be able to be purchased across state lines increasing competition and saving consumers money? The same arguments were made for credit card reform decades ago. Instead on increased competition you saw the opposite - rapid consolidation. Instead of more competitive rates and customer benefits all credit card companies consolidated in the states with the least oversight and fewest consumer protections. This will obviously also happen with medical insurance.

Either no ideas or bad ideas for the typical taxpayers - conservatives are all about helping their big corporate donors.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Health Care Debate

Steve presents the Pass The Damn Bill argument. After people see what is really in the bill and not the GOP distortions support goes up.

FireDogLake has been leading the liberal opposition to the bill and is tired of the Kabuki theater. Democrats never needed to get the DINOs representing big PHARMA and the insurance insurance to sign on. They had the 51 votes for a public option and it looks like the bill they will pass will use 51 votes.

I also agree with Jon on Democratic leadership now working on suicide pact instead of making popular fixes.

The New Campaign for Health Reform

Friday, January 22, 2010

In what Alternate Universe are health reform critics living?

In what universe must someone be living to believe that the Democratic Party is controlled by "the Left," let alone "the furthest left elements" of the Party? As Ezra Klein says, the Left "ha[s] gotten exactly nothing they wanted in recent months." The Left wanted a single-payer system, then settled for a public option, then an opt-out public option, then Medicare expansion -- only to get none of it, instead being handed a bill that forces every American to buy health insurance from the private insurance industry. Nor was it "the Left" -- but rather corporatist Democrats like Evan Bayh and Lanny Davis -- who cheered for the hated Wall Street bailout; blocked drug re-importation; are stopping genuine reform of the financial industry; prevented a larger stimulus package to lower unemployment; refuse to allow programs to help Americans with foreclosures; supported escalation in Afghanistan (twice); and favor the same Bush/Cheney terrorism policies of indefinite detention, military commissions, and state secrets.

The very idea that an administration run by Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel and staffed with centrists, Wall Street mavens, and former Bush officials -- and a Congress beholden to Blue Dogs and Lieberdems -- has been captive "to the Left" is so patently false that everyone should be too embarrassed to utter it. For better or worse, the Democratic strategy has long been and still is to steer clear of their leftist base and instead govern as "pragmatists" and centrists -- which means keeping the permanent Washington factions pleased. That strategy may or not be politically shrewd, but it is just a fact that the dreaded "Left" has gotten very little of what it wanted the entire year. Is there anyone who actually believes that "The Left" is in control of anything, let alone the Democratic Party? The fact that Lanny Davis -- to prove the Left's dominance -- has to cite one provision that was jettisoned (the public option) and another which the Left hates (the mandate) reflects how false that claim is. What are all of the Far Left policies the Democrats have been enacting and Obama has been advocating? I'd honestly love to know.

-- Glenn Greenwald -