Friday Mashup (12/28/12)

December 28, 2012

Bushmaster

  • I was wondering about something; given the success of the gun buyback days in Los Angeles, CA (here) and Bridgeport, CT (here), why can’t we have a national gun buyback day? Turn in your gun and you get a gift card for $100 to spend wherever you want. Can’t help but be highly stimulative from an economic point of view, people (and right around the time when everyone is running around like the proverbial chickens with their heads cut off over the OMIGOD THE FISCAL CLIFF THE FISCAL CLIFF THE FISCAL CLIFF THE FISCAL CLIFF!!! – I thought Froma Harrop of the Providence, RI Journal had a good column on that here).

    “WHAA??? A NATIONAL gun buyback day? That’s more liberal crazy talk!!!”

    Lather, rinse, repeat (sigh).

  • And speaking of our alleged impending financial doom, our mistake of a U.S. House Rep from PA-08 recently took the time to send me a very professional written correspondence on that subject (of course, what he said was garbage, but at least it looked nice). In it, Mikey claimed that allowing the tax rates from those stinking Bush tax cuts to expire “would result in a tax increase of $4,400 per return in the 8th Congressional District.”

    Notice that Mikey the Beloved didn’t say “per person.” My guess is that he said “per return” to include any businesses in the 8th district, and I’m not terribly sympathetic to the tax liabilities of business since they can get a lot more creative with deductions and ways to shelter their money than I as a member of the “99 percent” can.

    Mikey also said that allowing those stinking tax cuts to expire would “cost 700,000 jobs” according to an analysis from the accounting firm of Ernst and Young.

    Really? As Factcheck.org tells us here

    There’s an important caveat in there that some may miss; the projection assumes the revenue generated by raising taxes on those making over $250,000 would be “used to finance additional government spending.” The report did not examine what would happen if the additional revenue were used to reduce future federal deficits. As we noted when the report was raised during the vice presidential debate, Moody’s chief economist, Mark Zandi, called that omission “odd” and said, “It seems to me that is the more relevant scenario. And my sense is that if they did, the results would be very different.”

    Also…

    There’s another small-print caveat to the Ernst & Young report, the definition of “long run” (when the job losses would supposedly hit). A footnote at the bottom of the report explains that “roughly two-third to three-quarters of the long-run effect is reached within a decade.” In other words, when the report cites the loss of 700,000 jobs, a quarter to a third of those job losses would happen more than a decade from now.

    Also, this tells us that someone named Gary Shapiro is upset here because he thinks, in response to all the “cliff” stuff, we’re going to abandon HR 3606, which is a crowd-funding initiative to try and kick-start job creation (I get concerned about this because I don’t think the proper oversight exists).

    We are talking about HR 3606, right? The bill that President Obama signed into law in April here? That HR 3606?

    Oh, and another thing, Mikey – if you supposedly care so much about the OMIGOD FISCAL CLIFF FISCAL CLIFF FISCAL CLIFF FISCAL CLIFF FISCAL CLIFF!!! so much, then how come you and your U.S. House “leadership” aren’t in DC right now trying to do something about it (here)?

  • Next, I have to admit that I’m getting a laugh out of the wingnuts’ latest fit of pique, and that would be over CNN’s Piers Morgan and his calling out of the gun nuts for their opposition to any firearms regulation whatsoever (here – more on the petition by James Taranto of the Murdoch Street Journal to get Morgan tossed out of the country follows)….

    “British Citizen and CNN television host Piers Morgan is engaged in a hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment. We demand that Mr. Morgan be deported immediately for his effort to undermine the Bill of Rights,” the drafters of the petition wrote in their introductory statement.

    The petition has already netted more than 13,000 signatures one day after its launch, putting it well on pace to reach its goal of 25,000. That’s the threshold at which the Obama administration has promised to respond to online petitions submitted on the White House website, provided they reach that number in 30 days.

    “Ironic U.S. gun rights campaign to deport me for ‘attacking 2nd Amendment rights’ – is my opinion not protected under 1st Amendment rights?,” Morgan tweeted.

    “Your opinion is protected, your presence in the U.S. is not. See Kleindienst v. Mandel (1972),” Taranto replied to Morgan.

    As noted here, Richard Kleindienst was Attorney General under the Nixon Administration (a victim of the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre” over Watergate). He was also a litigant in the suit of Kleindienst v. Mandel, in which the U.S. AG was told that he had the power to bar someone’s entry into the U.S. under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.

    That had more than a little bit to do with the fact that Belgian journalist Ernest Mandel was a communist sympathizer (anathema back in 1952), which, last I checked, Piers Morgan is not in any way, shape or form.

    Silly wingnuts (and here is an update – too funny).

  • Continuing, this tells that that Number 44 was supposedly “humiliated” because the U.S. was not allowed to join the Regional Co-operative Economic Partnership (RCEP) with Asian countries.

    Meanwhile, this tells us the following…

    The notable absence of the United States should not signal alarm. The RCEP permits external countries to join later and does not prohibit members from acceding to other free-trade groupings, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in which the United States is active.

    Besides, this tells us how Obama made an overture to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in ’09 after he was sworn in – the U.S. was denied entry, but it’s smart to keep a wary eye on this bunch – just file it under this (the SCO was formed in response to #43’s bungled war in Afghanistan…not saying we shouldn’t have gone after bin Laden and it’s possible the SCO would have formed regardless, but let’s just take it as a given that Obama’s wretched predecessor’s actions also gave rise to international responses that aren’t what we wanted).

  • Further, John Stossel wastes our time as follows at clownhall.com (here)…

    (Bill) Gates walks in the footprints of earlier creators, like John D. Rockefeller, who got rich by lowering the price of oil products, and Cornelius Vanderbilt, who did the same for transportation. The clueless media called them robber barons, but they were neither robbers nor barons.

    Call them whatever you want, but let me present the following in response.

    This tells us of the Ludlow Massacre in 1914 in response to oppressive mining conditions for those under the employ of John D. Rockefeller (Want to know where the eight-hour work day and child labor laws came from? As a result of this, which was called the deadliest labor strike in U.S. history, with anywhere from 69 to 199 fatalities).

    This tells us about the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, which actually was set in motion by Vanderbilt the year before by a 10 percent wage cut workers suffered during the century’s worst depression (and it didn’t help that all four major rail lines colluded in underpaying their work force). By the time the strike hit, Vanderbilt had died, but the damage was done.

    Once can only assume that Stossel is continuing his recovery from the head slap he endured from wrestler David Schultz; that could explain this fit of crackpot history.

  • Finally (and speaking once more of sports), Dennis Miller (of all people) recently stated as follows here

    On his program Monday, comedian and radio talk show host Dennis Miller took on the NFL for micromanaging the game in the name of safety.

    Miller’s comments were inspired by a cover story in Time magazine in which NFL commissioner Roger Goodell discussed a proposal to eliminate the kickoff to reduce neck injuries.

    To Miller, the NFL’s adjustments have gotten out of hand. And it may be time, he said, to stop tinkering with the rules and just start all over with a new game.

    “I think we should reboot this whole thing,” Miller said. “I think American football should be shut down by Congress. And I think they should build a new game so people who, and players too, I’ll be candid with you — I know a few players who think that it’s gotten so crazy and so politically correct and so out of its way and you can’t touch a quarterback, now they’re not happy with it.”

    “So why don’t we reboot?” he continued. “Why not let football remain in our memories as something — I don’t think it’s ever the ‘great American game’ like baseball, just because baseball is probably a better game and football innately does have the violence in it — but let’s stop it and leave it at that. Because it turned out that, as guys like [Bob] Costas and [Peter] King were the first to notice, it is a flawed exercise. And come up with a new game where people aren’t constantly thinking, ‘Oh my God. They are just contorting themselves to get around the fact that it is an innately violent game.’”

    I have to admit that this is a bit of an uncomfortable position for yours truly, feeling obliged to defend the oh-so-august-in-their-imaginations National Football League.

    I’m not a bit surprised to hear Miller come down on the sport, thought, when you recall that (as noted here), he was once voted the least favorite “Monday Night Football” personality of all time, coming in behind even O.J. “I’m Still Looking For The ‘Real’ Killer of My Ex-Wife And Her Boyfriend” Simpson.

    But of course, what else can you expect from a guy like Miller, who apparently has to prop up his “fake tough” bona fides by a stunt like this as well as attacking Sandra Fluke, as noted here, who has more character in her fingernail than Miller has in his entire body?


  • Friday Mashup (10/16/09)

    October 16, 2009

  • I really try not to waste everyone’s time with trying to refute the nonsense of some of the right-wing media’s most visible suspects, but I have to say something about a certain Flush Limbore being denied a shot at owning the St. Louis Rams football team.

    As noted here, this has provided an opportunity to assorted culprits in the wingnutosphere to claim that Flush lost out because of “political correctness,” resurrecting some quotes that may have been falsely attributed to him (such as supposedly claiming that James Earl Ray deserved a posthumous Medal of Honor and slavery keep the streets safe…or something).

    Yes, well, I have an extremely hard time feeling sympathy for an individual who used some really cowardly code language to criticize Donavan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles (I’ve gotten ticked off at McNabb in the past, speaking for only myself, but I would never imagine that there was a “social concern” in somehow allowing him to become a top-flight NFL quarterback). And for more supposedly “color-blind” Limbore commentary, click here.

    Also, aside from his typical race-baiting antics, Limbore seems to have a preoccupation with a particular portion of the anatomy (Salon.com took note of that here; I’ll merely let you choose to read the incidents in question for yourself, dear reader, to find out how truly odious an individual he is).

    Beyond all of this, sportswriter Dave Zirin of The Nation tells us the following here (from HuffPo)…

    (Flush’s) ownership group, led by St. Louis Blues boss Dave Checketts, dumped Rush without ceremony or pity. Checketts issued a statement saying, “It has become clear that his involvement in our group has become a complication and a distraction to our intentions; endangering our bid to keep the team in St. Louis. As such, we have decided to move forward without him and hope it will eventually lead us to a successful conclusion.”

    His comments came the day after Rush insisted on his show that they would fight this to the bitter end. But Checketts, like most owners a long time donor to right wing causes, had no desire to link arms with Limbaugh for a public crusade. You might think Rush would have gone on the air to slam Checketts’s absence of a spine. You might think he would have called out the hypocrisy of NFL owners who give prodigiously to right wing candidates and causes, but insist on doing it in the shadows. You might think he would rail against those who see their conservative support as something sordid and best done behind closed doors. You might think Rush would howl at the moon at those who think that being an open, unreconstructed right winger, actually hurts the almighty bottom line. You might think he would say that the right wing has failed a major test by refusing to back him. Or maybe you might think he would take a different tack and accept personal responsibility for why a group of billionaires wouldn’t want his presence affecting their bottom line.

    But no.

    Flush “accept personal responsibility”? That makes about as much sense as the Eagles continuing to run that idiotic “wildcat” formation with Michael Vick, which, thus far, has generated comic relief but not much else.

  • This Op-Ed on the Fix Noise site from Doug Schoen tells us the following…

    The White House is making a profound political mistake by targeting Fox News and deliberately deciding to exclude them from interviews and access to the administration. And not only that, they are making a mistake on both a practical and a political level.

    Frankly, it just doesn’t make sense.

    Actually, what doesn’t make sense here is Schoen’s supposition that the White House intends to cut off access to the “news network”; as White House Communications Director Anita Dunn pointed out here…

    “Obviously [the President] will go on Fox because he engages with ideological opponents. He has done that before and he will do it again… when he goes on Fox he understands he is not going on it as a news network at this point. He is going on it to debate the opposition.”

    And here is more Schoen shilling for his corporate “betters” by the way (so he definitely knows about “profound political mistakes” – and it gets better with Schoen)…

    Fox News’ news programs are straightforward.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

    Most importantly, Fox News’ audience involves a substantial number of independents and moderate Republicans who should have access to, and might be persuaded by, some of the administration’s arguments. To simply believe that you can target Democrats and some of the independents through the rest of the mainstream media, and write off an audience of between two and four million people, is just plain illogical.

    I love the way that Schoen basically assumes that the “blogosphere” (still don’t like that word, but can’t think of a better one) doesn’t exist, as if our corporate media is the only means by which voters can be accessed.

    And if you want to get an idea as to exactly why the Obama White House would look upon Fix Noise this way, I think this story gives a bit of a hint (and I think you can consider this as a response to Dunn’s entirely accurate comments, by the way).

  • Update: Goodthis is all they understand.

    Update 10/19/09: Yep, I think this is curious also (h/t Atrios).

    Update 10/21/09: And here is some perspective on this, by the way.

  • Finally, U.S. House Rep Virginia Foxx wrote the following from here…

    This week I introduced the Fairness in Representation Act, legislation that requires the Census Bureau to determine the number of illegal immigrants in the United States.

    The decennial census is not currently required to collect data regarding the legal status of immigrants in the U.S. This means that states with high numbers of illegal immigrants stand to gain additional seats in Congress in the once-every-10-years process of reapportionment. This also means that the law-abiding residents of states with low numbers of illegal immigrants stand to lose seats to those states with high numbers of illegal immigrants.

    That is not fair and equal representation in Congress.

    Sooo…basically, because the Repugs couldn’t get their act together on immigration reform when they ran Congress, they decided to “punt” the whole issue of trying to find out exactly how many illegal immigrants we have in this country to the Census Bureau.

    Nice; also, this USA Today story tells us about the obstacles that Senate Repugs “Diaper Dave” Vitter and Bob Bennett ran into when they tried to do the same thing as Foxx, namely as follows…

    The amendment comes less than six months before 2010 Census questionnaires are mailed to 135 million households. About 425 million forms have already been printed, according to the bureau. Some are in different languages; others are duplicates that will go to houses that do not respond to the first mailing.

    The Census Bureau is launching an outreach campaign to persuade Americans that next year’s national head count will be a simple, painless process.

    The “Take 10” campaign promotes the idea that the Census form has only 10 questions and should take just 10 minutes to answer. Adding questions would require designing new forms. “It’s operationally impossible,” says Steve Jost, Census associate communications director. “The forms are printed, folded. We have bilingual forms. … We’re printing 1.5 million forms a day.”

    Some Latino groups such as the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders are calling for immigrants to boycott the Census unless laws are changed to give those here illegally a chance to gain legal status.

    “Already the public fears that the Census is too intrusive,” says Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, which opposes both the amendment and the boycott.

    “Asking about citizenship status “would raise more questions in the public mind about how confidential the Census is,” Vargas says.

    Just file this under another failed attempt at intelligent governance by this country’s minority political party in Washington, D.C. (and God help any illegals who could be victims of hate crime, since Foxx has an awful record on that score too, as noted here).

  • Update 10/21/09: More from the New York Times on this here…


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