DNC Day 2: Arithmetic

Thers:

In a sane world, Bill Clinton's speech would be some far right shit I'd be mad about.

It's not a sane world.

Watch the speech here.  Watch the hug that ruined Fox News' fun.  In the end?  Still just a convention speech with marginal influence.  But it went a long way toward further defining what the Democratic Party is pitching (or should be) and servering at very least as a reminder that you can talk smart and folksy together for one hell of a sell.  Krugman: Awesome, except for this.

Pre-Clinton stand outs: Judy Chu, Emanuel Cleaver (!!!), Sandra Fluke, an underwhelming and still amazing to listen to Elizabeth Warren.  Things to avoid unless you like being angry: Steny Hoyer, some talkers talking about the Senate races, and the early morning "let's make sure this gets more press, the President Said" voice vote.

Posting this late in the day (3) so better things have already been written here and here.  Overall another strong day for Democrats, especially in contrast.  And with the news of the Romney camp pulling money out of swing states a month earlier than McCain did the same, the media narrative of the campaigns could get interesting starting now.

On that front, Nate Silver is already looking ahead.

Tonight's prime time schedule.

 

Clinton, Ryan Caught On Tape On Medicare Cuts

Sign our Petition Telling Obama Not To Cut Medicare: http://act.ly/3pz

Former president Bill Clinton and Republican Congressman Paul Ryan were unwittingly caught on camera at an event discussing medicare cuts. Cenk Uygur breaks it down.

 

Bless Me Father, For I Have Sinned: The Passion Play of Newt Gingrich

That Newt Gingrich is a passionate man is without question. He’s a more passionate man than Charlie Sheen, and that, that my friends is a whole lotta passion bein’ stirred.

Newt’s been passionate about defending marriage from the awful scourge of people who love one another. So passionate, in fact, he separated with one wife while she was undergoing cancer treatment, to marry his high school sweetheart – who was also his geometry teacher…with whom he’d been having an affair for 6 years. That’s OK though, he divorced the schoolmarm for Wife Number 3 all on the up-and-up. Watch out ladies! Is that a foursome I see hovering in the background? Newt is, after all a passionate guy.

He’s passionate about other things too. For example, he’s passionate about BJs. Of course, he condemned Clinton for this. But, it’s different if you come by your BJ honestly, like Newt does – by innocently walking down the street and being surprised to trip and find his pecker has fallen into a woman’s mouth. Passionate stuff that.

But, he’s saved his biggest passion for his country. This patriot, by his every act, word, and deed, found himself so in love with Lady Liberty that he toiled for long hours grifting donors, lobbying lobbyists, and squeezing in the odd Contract on America that he broke down . He strayed. He divorced wives. Yes, he presumably even got illicit BJs. All for the taste of sweet, sweet liberty.

Ahhh, but the sweet smell of Lady Labia’s Liberty’s essential fluids also delivered him from his decadence and landed him on CBN describing his conversion and salvation through Catholicism – a religion uniquely qualified to cater to the passions of his ilk.

And now, Brother Newt, friend of God, and passionate of unzipped pant, bellows to the rafters, “HALLELUJAH! PRAISE ST. RONNIE OF REAGAN! – THE PATRON SAINT OF TEA PARTIERS WANTS ME TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT!”

“I am but a mere vessel of Reagan conservatism to use as St. Ronnie knows my destiny will surely take me. Oh, and log on to newt.org to contribute. Visa and MasterCard welcome.”

Now let’s hope that those hooligan journalists don’t ask him the most salient question…

If being a Congressman drove you to such passion that you lost your mind and fornicated like a Viagraized Easter Bunny, how will you fare being the much more passionately pressurized President.

Inquiring ex-wives want to know.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

 

The Effects of Welfare reform.

The Personal responsibility and work Opportunity act was passed and signed into law in 1996. The legislation is also known as Welfare reform. The act redistributed welfare delivery, and structure from the Federal government to state, and local governments. Allowing states to determine their own model for welfare. Since then some states have placed more requirements for welfare recipients  then the act placed.
Some of the major provisions of the PRWORA of 1996 include but are not excluded to:
1)      Requiring welfare recipients to be actively in search of employment. Limiting benefits for beneficiaries who do not obtain employment two years after receive benefits.
2)      The act also placed a 5 year lifetime limit on benefits paid by federal tax dollars, however there are some exceptions for children.
Now we are on to the real felt effects of Welfare reform. Firstly A study conducted by “The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,” published in 1999[Yes over ten years ago] found that from 1993-1995 poor families income increased by near $1,000. However the poorest families income after the passage of Welfare reform decreased even though the economy was experiencing significantly better economic growth. Their income fell by around $750 dollars in the two years preceding legislation. [1]
Other findings from the study show a significant drop in the number of children leaving poverty or extreme poverty. From 1993-1995 2.4 million children were lifted out of extreme poverty, compared to only 360,000 in 1995-1997, this is again despite a better economy during the latter years. [1]
The above mentioned effects are a bit shocking and disappointing for the well being of American families yet there's more.  
Before the welfare reform act 12 million Americans were on welfare, after the act the number of Americans on welfare fell to 5 million in 2001 or by 60%. Total yearly benefits for those on welfare fell by around $200 or by 10%. Total welfare spending equaled 28 billion dollars in 1996, and 24 billion dollars in 2001.[2,3] If your scratching your head wondering, “How come total welfare spending only fell by 15% when the number of people on welfare fell by 60% and their benefits fell by 10%?”[2,3]
The answer lies in the fact that the major effect of Welfare reform was a substantial increased in administration costs, commonly known as  bureaucracy, and wasteful spending. In fact the total amount of administration costs increased by 300%. [2,3]. After doing the math I found that we could double the number of people on welfare without adding a cent to the total cost of welfare, if we simply repealed “The Personal responsibility and work Opportunity act (welfare reform)”. The savings would come in the reduction in wasteful spending.
The major reasons why welfare reform increased wasteful spending include but don’t exclude:
1)      A decentralized system. Instead of one federally operated program there are now 50 different ones.
2)      Requirements on welfare recipients such as that they must be actively looking for a job. There’s tons of paperwork that has to be done to prove you’re looking for a job and it takes government time and employees to make sure you’re following the requirements.

Feel free to copy and past these realities as you desire.

References:
Footnote #1
http://www.cbpp.org/...
Footnote #2
http://www.libraryindex.com/...
Footnote #3
http://www.libraryindex.com/...

 

 

Citizens United By-Product?

We need to start making things again in this country, and we can do that by reducing the tax and regulatory burdens on job creators. America will have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Think about that. Look no further to see why jobs are moving overseas.Michelle Bachmann Response

I cannot remember ever having three State of the Union speeches in one year. Normally the party in the White House gives the traditional State of the Union speech followed by the out of office party giving a response. Now thanks to our political system being awash in cash any crank can go on television and get their 15 minutes of fame. My question is who funded this little Bachmann escapade? Michelle Bachmann is supposed to be a money maker and according to reports she is a fund-raising machine, but where does this money come from? No one knows. I would venture to guess that it is the same AstroTurf funders who started the teabagger movement.

I have a hard time believing that it would be difficult to raise money with a platform of tax-cuts for the wealthy, removing regulations on businesses, and repealing health-care reform. I think there are a number of wealthy folks who would contribute to those causes, so the fact that she raises money should not be falsely correlated to her popularity. Cranks like Bachmann will always appeal to 15-20% of the population and while this sells a lot of gold and dog food it doesn’t translate well in national elections. Michelle Bachmann and her ilk are the pit-bulls of the right to make sure any compromise will be their compromise which is no compromise at all. Moving forward the new hostages won’t just be the unemployed, the poor, and the middle-class it will be the full faith and credit of the United States.

The new target will be the infamous entitlements. The line will be that you can’t be serious about deficits if you don’t cut entitlements. This of course will come from the same folks who want to make the Bush tax-cuts for the wealthy permanent. What I fail to understand is that we are having this one sided conversation about cutting the deficit without the other side of the equation which is to increase revenues. The way that Bill Clinton created a surplus was not by cutting Social Security and our safety net; he did it by raising revenues. And guess what the sky didn’t fall and the wealthy and the corporations did not move to Eastern Europe where the rates are much lower. The idea that you are going to cut your way out of this debt is ludicrous.

Is it just me or is it coincidental that following the Citizens United decision we are now being provided with every extremist view on full display. My concern is that we will be bombarded by these fanatical views not because those who espouse them are credible or even electable. The strategy will be to push the center further and further to their extreme view so that views that were once unthinkable are now being debated as mainstream. How many formerly extreme views are now a part of our political discussions? Anyone remember the 14th Amendment and how now it is open for public debate and re-litigation against Latinos? It wasn’t that long ago that this would have been considered an extreme remedy for the immigration crisis. Or how about referring to the unemployed and seniors as lazy and stopping benefits in the middle of an economic downturn like we haven’t seen since the Great Depression? Even the most ardent critics would not have proposed cutting off unemployment benefits in the midst of the "Great Recession".

The upcoming Presidential election is going to be full of cranks and fanatics and their goal will be to distract and confuse the electorate. They will be able to do so with the help of the Citizens United decision and the 501(c)4 organizations flush with cash that it spawned. These unnamed donors will be able to manipulate the issues and steer the debate away from the real issues and towards the dark hordes that are storming our borders or the socialist liberals who have the audacity to ask them to pay their fair share of taxes. Thanks to 24/7 cable news and the Supreme Court the airwaves will be flooded with the likes of Palin, Bachmann, and O’Donnell. The teabagger Barbie’s will be on full display and in rare form providing not only verbal, but visual distractions for the punditry.

We now have Supreme Court Justices hiding income from their spouses and conducting behind the scenes political talks for congressional audiences. My question is what job did Ms. Thomas perform to make $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation? Whether there is criminal intent or conflict of interest is not the issue. The issue is that under this Court more controversial decisions have been made and it doesn’t appear those decisions were based in Constitutional law, but instead on a political agenda. It is odd to me that the citizen’s of this country are overwhelmingly opposed to the Citizens United decision and yet our judiciary blatantly and apologetically displays their partisanship in a way that would have been unheard of just a few years ago.

It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first. - Ronald Reagan

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