Top Droppers Day

 Posted by at 12:14  Weblogging
Jan 312009
 

Today is Top Droppers Day at Entrecard. It is the day you are supposed to create a post on your blog listing and thanking the top ten droppers to your blog for the month just ending. However, I didn’t think it quite fair to cut the list off at ten since at least twenty folks have dropped their card on mine every day this month. So here are those twenty. Good folks these… pay them a visit why don’t you?

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Once again, my thanks to all these fine folks. Remember, our Top Twenty Droppers are always tracked in real time in the column to your left.
 

Jan 312009
 

In the weekly address, President Barack Obama addressed the latest economic news and urged the passing of an America Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.

He also announced that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is preparing a new strategy for reviving our financial system — which will not only ensure that CEOs aren’t abusing taxpayer dollars, but also get credit flowing and lower mortgage costs.

Watch the address and read the full text below.


(HD video – watch in normal quality)

The full text of the address, as prepared for delivery, is below the fold.

Continue reading »

You lost, Johnny

 Posted by at 22:02  Politics, Republicans
Jan 302009
 

Somebody needs to let Johnny McCain know that he and his Republican buddies lost the election this past November. He seems to be suffering the delusion that he still matters somehow…

McCain: Obama needs to consult on stimulus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former presidential rival John McCain expressed disappointment on Friday that President Barack Obama has not negotiated with Republicans over a huge economic stimulus plan and said he is working on an alternative package…

“I have to tell you I’m disappointed so far in the administration’s lack of consultation or efforts to work with Republicans on the stimulus package,” McCain said.

You lost, Johnny. Get over yourself.

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P.S. Is it really possible that the old geezer has been paying so little attention these past few weeks?
 

Jan 302009
 

Lest anyone remains in doubt that change has come to the White House…

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden today announced the formation of a Middle Class Task Force. President Obama also reversed several of George W. Bush’s anti-labor executive orders.

Video of the President’s and Vice President’s remarks follows. The full text of their remarks may be read below the fold.

(Either JavaScript is not active or you are using an old version of Adobe Flash Player. Please install the newest Flash Player.)

Continue reading »

RNC picks chair

 Posted by at 15:46  Politics, Republicans
Jan 302009
 

The Republican National Committee selected their new chairman today. After six ballots, it came down to a choice between a black guy and a white guy who openly belongs to a whites-only club.

They settled on the black guy.

The vote was 91 to 77.

P.S. I found this part of the new chairman’s acceptance speech particularly fascinating:

“We’re going to say to friend and foe alike: We want you to be a part of us, we want you to with be with us, and for those who wish to obstruct, get ready to get knocked over.” (source)

Sounds a lot like “You’re either with us or against us,” doesn’t it? Their way or no way.
 

Jan 302009
 

These are thumbnails of some of the best editorial and political cartoons of the week just passed. Click on them to make them bigger or to start a manually-operated slide show (pay attention to the control icons that will appear at the bottom of your browser window).

bagley012909.jpg   beeler012609.jpg    bennett013009.jpg

benson012809.gif   billday012809.jpg   darkow012809.gif

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heller012809.jpg   horsey012809.jpg   lane012909.gif

luckovich012909.gif   margulies013009.jpg   matson012809.jpg

morin012909.jpg   parker012909.jpg   pett012609.jpg

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sack012809.jpg   sherffius013009.jpg   stein012909.jpg

streeter012909.jpg   toles012809.gif

As always, our thanks go to the talented and observant cartoonists who, each week, help us smile through the pain.

Saturday additions:

bagley013009.jpg   bennett013109.jpg   branch013109.jpg

darkow013009.gif   luckovich013109.gif   markstein013009.gif

ramsey013009.jpg   sack013009.jpg   sherffius013109.jpg

stein013109.jpg

 

Jan 292009
 

All those television appearances do not seem to have helped Rod Blagojevich. The state of Illinois finally has a new governor. (Actually, I applaud the Illinois State House of Representatives and Senate for their fast and decisive action.)

Blagojevich Ousted by Illinois State Senate

Blagojevich
Blagojevich

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois State Senate Thursday convicted Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich on a sprawling article of impeachment that charged him with abusing his power. The vote prompted the governor’s immediate and permanent ouster and ended nearly two months of political spectacle in which he sought unsuccessfully to salvage his reputation and career here and across the country.

Mr. Blagojevich, a two-term Democrat who rose from the ranks of Chicago ward politics on the strength of his charisma and family connections, is the first governor in the state’s history to be impeached. The senators voted 59 to 0 in favor of removing him after a four-day trial and about two hours of deliberation.

According to state law, Pat Quinn, the lieutenant governor, assumed chief executive power upon the vote and was expected to take the oath of office for ceremonial purposes before the end of the day.

UPDATE: “New Gov. Quinn Sworn In: ‘The Ordeal Is Over’.”

Governor Pat Quinn
Governor Pat Quinn

 

In other news today…

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Jan 282009
 

Without one single Republican vote…

House Passes $819 Billion Economic Stimulus

With no Republican support, the House approved an $819 billion stimulus plan that will serve as the cornerstone of President Obama’s efforts to resuscitate the economy, an early victory for the new president but still a disappointment because of the lack of Republican votes.

The measure passed 244 to 188, with 11 Democrats and 177 Republicans voting against it.

The two-year economic package includes $275 billion in tax cuts and more than $550 billion in domestic spending on roads and bridges, alternative-energy development, health-care technology, unemployment assistance, and aid to states and local governments. It would also provide up to $500 per year in tax relief for most workers and more than $300 billion in aid to states for funding to help rebuild schools, provide health-care to the poor and reconstruct highways and bridges.

Nobody can deny that President Obama tried to work with the Republicans, even going so far as to make a special trip to the capitol building yesterday to meet with their “leaders” and asking the Democratic leadership to either change or remove parts of the legislation to which they objected. Still, not one single Republican voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. Not one.

We now better understand whereof the Republicans speak when the utter the word “bipartisan.” In their lexicon, it means “our way or no way.” For them, it’s party before country every time.

This was a difficult lesson for our new president, but he had to try. He now knows without any doubt whatsoever that trying to work with Republicans is nothing less than a gigantic waste of time.

The Senate will now work on and pass their version of the bill, probably also without any cooperation from the Republicans. A joint committee will then meet to hammer out a compromise bill which will then be approved by both houses of Congress. The goal is to have a bill ready for the president’s signature by the middle of February. With our economy worsening by the hour, it cannot happen too quickly.
 

Jan 272009
 

Yesterday, I recommended that you read a Paul Krugman column. Today, I am going to present for your consideration another New York Times columnist, Bob Herbert. I’ve linked to several of his columns in the past, but this one is especially timely…

The Same Old Song

Bob Herbert
Bob Herbert

What’s up with the Republicans? Have they no sense that their policies have sent the country hurtling down the road to ruin? Are they so divorced from reality that in their delusionary state they honestly believe we need more of their tax cuts for the rich and their other forms of plutocratic irresponsibility, the very things that got us to this deplorable state?

The G.O.P.’s latest campaign is aimed at undermining President Obama’s effort to cope with the national economic emergency by attacking the spending in his stimulus package and repeating ad nauseam the Republican mantra for ever more tax cuts.

[snip]

When the G.O.P. talks, nobody should listen. Republicans have argued, with the collaboration of much of the media, that they could radically cut taxes while simultaneously balancing the federal budget, when, in fact, big income-tax cuts inevitably lead to big budget deficits. We listened to the G.O.P. and what do we have now? A trillion-dollar-plus deficit and an economy in shambles.

This is the party that preached fiscal discipline and then cut taxes in time of war. This is the party that still wants to put the torch to Social Security and Medicare. This is a party that, given a choice between Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, would choose Ronald Reagan in a heartbeat.

Why is anyone still listening?

(Click on the headline to read the entire column.)

Why indeed? President Obama is up on The Hill today trying to reason with the Republicans. Though his desire to include them in the rebuilding of our country is admirable, nothing will come of it. No offense to two-year-old kids, but the Republicans are like two-year-old kids. You give them a piece of candy and they will just scream at the top of their lungs until they get more. Everything has to be done their way or no way at all. Their little minds are made up and that is all there is to it.

There is a reason the Republicans lost so badly this past November. The problem is, they still do not comprehend or understand that reason. They are not going to change.

It is time for America to move on without them. We are now at a point where we can no longer humor their tantrums. It is time to put them in “time out” and get on with the work of cleaning up the horrendous messes they created.

Why is anybody still listening to Republicans?

See also: “The Republican Hissy Fit Exception.”
 

Jan 262009
 

This morning’s must-read column is from Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman in The New York Times (which right wingers will automatically discount because it is in the Times and because it is from Mr. Krugman, but it would be a mistake on their part to do so). In this column, Mr. Krugman talks about some of the objections the Republicans are putting forth to President Obama’s economic rescue package and then proceeds to debunk each of them…

Bad Faith Economics

Paul Krugman
Paul Krugman

As the debate over President Obama’s economic stimulus plan gets under way, one thing is certain: many of the plan’s opponents aren’t arguing in good faith. Conservatives really, really don’t want to see a second New Deal, and they certainly don’t want to see government activism vindicated. So they are reaching for any stick they can find with which to beat proposals for increased government spending.

Some of these arguments are obvious cheap shots. John Boehner, the House minority leader, has already made headlines with one such shot: looking at an $825 billion plan to rebuild infrastructure, sustain essential services and more, he derided a minor provision that would expand Medicaid family-planning services — and called it a plan to “spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives.”

But the obvious cheap shots don’t pose as much danger to the Obama administration’s efforts to get a plan through as arguments and assertions that are equally fraudulent but can seem superficially plausible to those who don’t know their way around economic concepts and numbers. So as a public service, let me try to debunk some of the major antistimulus arguments that have already surfaced. Any time you hear someone reciting one of these arguments, write him or her off as a dishonest flack.

Here is the debunking part. For copyright purposes, I will not post the entire column here. Click on the headline above to continue reading.

He concludes his column with this:

These are only some of the fundamentally fraudulent antistimulus arguments out there. Basically, conservatives are throwing any objection they can think of against the Obama plan, hoping that something will stick.

But here’s the thing: Most Americans aren’t listening. The most encouraging thing I’ve heard lately is Mr. Obama’s reported response to Republican objections to a spending-oriented economic plan: “I won.” Indeed he did — and he should disregard the huffing and puffing of those who lost.

I could not agree more.

A commentator on an earlier post inquired what happened to President Obama’s promise to be “post-partisan”? Well, it’s like this… The Republicans will not let it happen. They grew too accustomed to having everything their way during the first three quarters of Bush’s presidency when they held majorities in every branch of government. (Just look at where that got us.) They got spoiled. They now want everything their way or no way. They’re going to have to get over that. For all our sakes, I hope they get over it quickly.