Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
You can probably guess what their budget turned out like after they released it yesterday...
This is a Video of a GOP Representative talking about their 19 page budget that contains no numbers, but only more answer-free criticism of what Obama's doing.
This is the video of the Press Secretary talks about the GOP's new budget.
Wake me when the party of binge spending can formulate a coherent rebuttal to the party of steady spending increases.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Dictionaries report "mugguomp" was an Algonquian word meaning "person of importance" or "war leader." Charles Anderson Dana, the colorful newspaperman and editor of the now-defunct New York Sun, is said to have given the Mugwumps their political moniker. Dana made the term plural and derided them as amateurs and public moralists.
During the 1884 campaign, they were often portrayed as "fence-sitters," with part of their body on the side of the Democrats and the other on the side of the Republicans. (Their "mug" on one side of the fence, and their "wump" on the other.)
Even stranger, apparently "Neo-Mugwump" is apparently another term for RINO: Republican In Name Only. Meaning, we almost elected a Neo-Mugwump for president in 2008. ;)
I don't know what to say, given that one of the wierdest images in my life is apparently a Republican movement...
It's like discovering that chocolate has one of the higher concentrations of lead among foods us Westerners typically eat.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Jon Stewart railing against CNBC
Jon Stewart railing on Cramer after Cramer reponds to Stewart's original rant
Cramer interviewed on the Daily Show
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Pete Stark has missed nearly 57% of the votes so far in the 111th Congress. 57% @(#&#@(& percent.
It turns out that the only Representative with a worse record than he does actually has an excuse: Rep. Hilda Solis has missed 75.6% of the votes because she is our new Secretary of Labor, so her seat in the House is currently empty.
I'd love to hear what his excuse is...
[Chuck] Norris wrote that he would be interested in becoming the president of Texas, if the state were ever to secede from the Union.
“I may run for president of Texas,” Norris wrote Monday in a column posted at WorldNetDaily. “That need may be a reality sooner than we think. If not me, someone someday may again be running for president of the Lone Star state, if the state of the union continues to turn into the enemy of the state.”
The actor claimed “thousands of cell groups will be united around the country in solidarity over the concerns for our nation” and said that if states decide to secede from the union, that Texas would lead the way.
“Anyone who has been around Texas for any length of time knows exactly what we'd do if the going got rough in America,” Norris wrote. “Let there be no doubt about that.”
There would be no doubt at all. Texas would get their ass handed to them, just like the South did after the Civil War. You know, back long before the Federal government (and U.S. military) was as powerful and authoritarian as it is today?
That secession plan didn't work out so hot for the South last time, but perhaps Chuck Norris is just nostalgic for the reconstruction / carpet bagging era…
I suggest reading the article, but here are the highlights:
... Republicans, who have sought unsuccessfully to amend the $410 billion fiscal year 2009 omnibus spending bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday night. That bill is estimated to have $7.7 billion worth of earmarks requested by lawmakers -- or about 2% of the total bill.
In any given year, earmarks requested by members of the majority party typically account for 60% of earmarks, with the remaining 40% coming from members of the minority party.
Typically, when Congress appropriates federal funding to government agencies, it's up to the agencies to decide how that money gets doled out to projects in states, cities and counties, and those decisions are made through an application-and-review process.
Most typically, an earmark is defined as a slice of the money allocated to an agency that a lawmaker or the president has requested be set aside for a specific project.
So earmarks aren't additional spending -- they're a portion of the total amount lawmakers have agreed to spend for a given year.
"If earmarks go, the amount of money stays the same. It's more about who decides how the money will be spent," said Charles Konigsberg, a former assistant budget director in the Clinton administration and now chief budget counsel at deficit watchdog group the Concord Coalition.
While there have always been earmarks, their number grew exponentially between 1995 and 2006. That's partly because lawmakers began to use earmarks as a way to help incumbents who risked losing re-election, Ellis said. And part of it was a feedback loop: as earmarks grew, so did the ranks of lobbyists to secure them.
"More earmarks begat more lobbyists begat more earmarks," Ellis said.
Today, earmarks can number several thousand a year. But in the end, their total dollar amount typically represents less than 1% of the federal budget.
"People think big chunks of the federal budget are being shoved into earmarks, and it's just not the case," Konigsberg said.
"Some are worthwhile projects, but they're the product of a bad system," Ellis said.
It's a system based on "political muscle rather than merit," he said. Translation: Senior members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees typically get the most earmarks.
Is there a better way?
Ellis believes Congress should set up an objective, merit-based earmark system that establishes a list of priorities. Transportation projects, for example, could be required to meet criteria that reflect national priorities such as improving traffic density, commuter safety or energy efficiency.
"Right now, no one can tell me why one project gets money and another doesn't," Ellis said.
Some experts say the biggest problem with earmarks is that their status as budget-bad-boy is overblown, detracting from the real trouble with federal spending.
As astonishing as the government's debt levels may be in the short-run because of the financial crisis -- well over a $1 trillion deficit this year alone -- the long-run picture is much uglier because of the pressures entitlement programs will place on the federal budget.
Left unchanged, federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid alone, which now accounts for roughly 5% of GDP, is projected to grow to more than 6% in 2019 and to 12% by 2050, according to the Congressional Budget Office. And that doesn't include the growing cost of Social Security and other government spending.
"The impact of earmarks has been overemphasized; they're a red herring," Konigsberg said. "So much attention is paid to them and so little attention is paid to our long-term fiscal condition."
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
ARKHAM, MA—Arguing that students should return to the fundamentals taught in the Pnakotic Manuscripts and the Necronomicon in order to develop the skills they need to be driven to the very edge of sanity, Arkham school board member Charles West continued to advance his pro-madness agenda at the district's monthly meeting Tuesday.
"Fools!" said West, his clenched fist striking the lectern before him. "We must prepare today's youth for a world whose terrors are etched upon ancient clay tablets recounting the fever-dreams of the other gods—not fill their heads with such trivia as math and English. Our graduates need to know about those who lie beneath the earth, waiting until the stars align so they can return to their rightful place as our masters and wage war against the Elder Things and the shoggoths!"
The controversial school board member reportedly interrupted a heated discussion about adding fresh fruit to school lunches in order to bring his motion to the table. With the aid of a flip chart, West laid out his six-point plan for increased madness, which included field trips to the medieval metaphysics department at Miskatonic University, instruction in the incantations of Yog-Sothoth, and a walkathon sponsored by local businesses to raise money for the freshman basketball program.