Economics & The Eonomy
- Did Reagan Raise Taxes? Let GOP Candidates Answer | National Memo | Breaking News, Smart Politics —Republicans are in denial. Ronald Reagan raised taxes and even with that move still saddled the country with a huge increase in the deficit. —JJH
Politicians and their flacks lie every day, but it is unusual for someone prominent to utter a totally indefensible falsehood like the whopper that just sprang from the mouth of Eric Cantor’s press secretary on national television. While interviewing the House Majority Leader, “60 Minutes” correspondent Leslie Stahl suggested that he might consider compromise because even Ronald Reagan had raised taxes several times. Cantor’s flack then burst out in protest, saying he couldn’t allow her remark “to stand.” The premise of Stahl’s perceptive question was perfectly accurate, of course. But the rude Hill staffer is scarcely alone in promoting this super-sized lie about Reagan’s tax purity. And it would be worth discovering which of the Republican candidates likewise reject a fundamental truth about their party and its idol.
That video exchange is revealing for several reasons, not least because it shows Cantor trying to suggest that he was always willing to “cooperate” with President Obama and the Democrats during the current session of Congress. The public’s distaste for the obstructionism spearheaded by Cantor and supported by the Tea Party faction is evident in polling data, which may well worry the ambitious Cantor, who almost openly hopes to depose Speaker John Boehner.
The argument began when Stahl asked: “What’s the difference between compromise and cooperate?”
- Thomas Frank, the author of the great book What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America has a new book out entitled Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right.
- The Tea Party’s “utopian market populism” – Wall Street – Salon.com — An interview with Thomas Frank
In his new book, “Pity the Billionaire,” Tom Frank turns his mordant eye on the unlikeliest political development of the Obama presidency: how the crash of 2008 served to strengthen the political right. The deregulation of Wall Street, championed for 30 years by right-wing leaders, had led to an economic catastrophe so frightening that the country elected a liberal Democrat to the presidency. Yet two years later, the most conservative faction of the Republican Party, the Tea Party, had taken effective control of the House of Representatives, the regulation of Wall Street had stalled, and the champions of economic deregulation in Washington had emerged stronger than ever.
Frank, author of the bestselling book “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” provides a pithy and nuanced explanation of what he calls the “hard-times swindle.” He spoke with Salon from his father’s home in Kansas City, Mo. [read on…]
- Truth. They’re not. I’d expand that to politicians…
- White House Concludes It Can Appoint Cordray – Washington Wire – WSJ
Politics — Rick Santorum (Rick Santorum get his first H3 listing here!)
- This one might just be too funny: Santorum Surges From Behind | Greta Christina’s Blog
- Romney and Santorum demonstrate hugely different bases of support – The Washington Post
- Santorum strategist: Our server ‘blew up’ – POLITICO.com
Politics — Mitt Romney
Climate & Climate Politics
- Mitt Romney’s climate and energy views | Grist
Where does Mitt Romney stand on climate change and energy issues? Brace yourself: He doesn’t have that flip-flopper reputation for nothing.
Romney used to be one of the more sane Republicans when it comes to climate change. He would play up uncertainty and use weasel words, but he still acknowledged global warming as a problem.
In his 2010 book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, Romney wrote:
I believe that climate change is occurring [read on…]
- Santorum vs. Romney: The climate is screwed either way | Grist
- Mother Nature is Just Getting Warmed Up: December Heat Records Exceed Cold By 80%, Annual Ratio Hits 2.8-to-1 | ThinkProgress
Atheism & Religion
- Two sides to national superstition | The Crommunist Manifesto.
- Ten Reasons I’m Glad I’m an Atheist | Blue Collar Atheist
- Can All Religion Be True? The Problem With Ecumenicalism | Greta Christina’s Blog
- No End to the End-of-the-World Nonsense – Truthdig —
When it comes to the apocalypse, there’s no such thing as a partial success. It’s like being pregnant. So here are our choices: Either the world is going to end this year, as New Agey types believe by interpreting the ancient Mayan calendar through the lens of their “hippie consciousness-expanding nonsense,” like this helpful clip puts it, or it’s not. Most likely not. —KA
- Balloon Juice » “Officially, the White House says Obama never went to Mars…” — H’oh boy… Wait till the wingnut kooks get this one.