Sunday, February 28, 2010

Republicans were FOR Mandated Health Care Coverage Once Upon a Time (before Obama)!

They were for mandated insurance coverage, before they were against it...

Rachel Maddow again couldn't make it any clearer; Republicans are hypocrites of the first order, and shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. In the "black video box" below, click start to see how out in the open Sen. Chuck Grassley and others are about their double standard. Rachel and the Washington Post's Ezra Klein won't let them get away with it. So why isn't the rest of the press corps doing this kind of reporting?

Have you also noticed that when these guys get caught having it both ways, they are quick to admit that retroactively, they were wrong in the past. "We now thinks it was wrong back then..." is pathetic and insulting. Sen. Lamar Alexander's comment is one of the most memorable ones to date, and an instant classic:
"Our country's to big, to complicated, to decentralized for Washington."

Fox News' Chris Wallace Slices and Dices Ryan's Health Care Reform Distortions. Believe it or Not!

1. This first video clip shows Chris Wallace notching his first exposed lie from the economic scribblings of Rep. Ryan, who has suddenly found his well prepared misdirection play on the cost of health care reform ringing embarrassingly hollow (play clip below).

2. Lie 2 uncovered, as Wallace quotes verbatim from the CBO report disputing Ryan's claims that health care cost will increase. For some reason the CBO missed the "double counting of savings" and mistakes that only Ryan could see, or misinterpret for the American public (play clip below).

3. This time tort reform is revealed to be a non-issue when it comes in at .05 of total spending. Defensive medicine has two problems; to many tests to avoid making a medical error, and ordering tests to pad the bottom line of costly medical centers. The latter issue is rarely mentioned because Republicans are the political arm of the insurance industry. The even bigger solution is to Tort reform is this: right now it penalizes victims, and doesn't do anything about the 98,000 people who die in hospitals each year as a result of preventable medical errors, costing the health care system $29 billion in excess costs. Start at the front end, not the back. If you lower medical errors, you lower lawsuits. Easy isn't it. Not for Paul (play clip below):

4. Chris Wallace nails Ryan on pre-existing conditions. Ryan's concept runs counter the original business model of insurance (not their current model of exclusionary death panels), and that is to spread the risk by insuring everyone, with the more healthy contributors supporting the chronically ill. Ryan's plan is a nightmare, soaking taxpayer with the high cost of high risk pools that get ever bigger, as insurers dump their coverage to pad their profits. Socializing risk, privatizing profits (play clip below).

Fox News' Chris Wallace Nails Sen. Kyl on Reconciliation, Like a Deer in Headlights.

Chris Wallace, in a moment of clarity, cornered Sen. Jon Kyl on the use of reconciliation, causing Kyl to stammer, stutter and pretty much prove he was just making it up. We're looking through you Jon.

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan Talks Free Markets, Votes Against Repealing Free Market Exemption for Insurance Industry.

Despite my vigilant coverage of Paul Ryan, the only Republican congressman scary enough to paranormally channel the spirit of Ayn Rand, I somehow missed the headline calling out his hypocrisy on a free market vote for insurance competition.

John Nichols, Capital Times: Last week, he was one of just 19 members of the House who voted against a proposal to strip antitrust exemptions for insurance companies. What that means is that there is no real competition, a circumstance that allows big insurers to impose radical rate hikes.

The vast majority of House Republicans got it. A total of 153 GOP representatives voted with 253 Democrats to create real competition.
There are no good explanations why Ryan would have voted against leveling the health insurance playing field when he is one of the biggest advocates for making insurers compete across state lines. Which means Ryan's "Road Map to a Dickensian American Future" doesn’t include killing the anti-trust exemption or the current insurance "death panel" policy of allowing pre-existing conditions to exterminate lives through corporate rationing.

For all his talk about being for free markets, the Janesville Republican joined a tiny minority of House members who opposed freeing up the market to foster competition and reduce insurance prices. On the losing end of that 406-19 vote, Ryan was a lonely defender of insurance industry monopolies and duopolies, which can raise prices at will because they face little real competition.

In other words, if you are having trouble paying the profiteers who are making health care unaffordable for Wisconsinites, remember that Ryan has done everything in his power to protect and encourage the insurance companies -- and nothing, absolutely nothing, to serve the people of Wisconsin.
Doing nothing works in Ryan's district. Ideologically blind to a government working for the people, Ryan's electorate has been overwhelmingly desensitized to bad news. Ryan has sold them on the idea of zero expectations of their elected representative.

Will Ryan's charismatic chaos work on the rest of the country? So far, based on the respectful press he's received, the answer is yes.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chile Earth Quake

Governor Candidate Scott Walker Promises to Wipe Out Unemployment in Wisconsin During Great Recession, But Will Democrats Let Him?

The would be emperor already lost his clothes, with the following wild off the cuff claim:

AP-Scott Walker, a GOP candidate for governor (claimed) … he can create 250,000 jobs in Wisconsin by 2015. If Walker were to achieve his goal of creating 250,000 jobs, he would erase virtually all unemployment in the state (which now at 250,900).

That means Walker would be slashing the unemployment rate to a fraction of a percent, a "laughable" prospect, according to liberal group One Wisconsin Now. "Instead of coming up with a detailed economic recovery plan, Walker simply pulled a number out of a hat. His choice of a number reveals how little he knows about the Wisconsin economy," said Scot Ross, the group's executive director.

Walker's primary opponent, former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann … quoted statistics that suggest Milwaukee has one of the nation's worst records of retaining jobs. "If Scott Walker had a plan to bring jobs to Wisconsin he should have implemented it in Milwaukee sometime during the last eight years," Neumann said.
Wisconsin's "King Midas in reverse" continues to defy common sense and logic by building up his campaign war chest and anti-government, constitutional tea party scholars.

Liberals are Smarter than Conservatives. Religious Right Wingers are by Nature, Paranoid.

I've been saying this for awhile, but my conservative friend only laughs at the suggestion. Well, now I have scientific proof.

CNN-Political, religious and sexual behaviors may be reflections of intelligence, a new study finds. Evolutionary psychologist and libertarian Satoshi Kanazawa, at the London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data from a large national U.S. sample and found that, on average, people who identified as liberal and atheist had higher IQs. The findings will be published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly.

The IQ differences, while statistically significant … should not be used to stereotype or make assumptions about people, experts say.

Religion … goes along the lines of helping people to be paranoid, Kanazawa said. "It helps life to be paranoid, and because humans are paranoid, they become more religious, and they see the hands of God everywhere."

Participants who said they were atheists had an average IQ of 103 in adolescence, while adults who said they were religious averaged 97, the study found.

The study found that young adults who said they were "very conservative" had an average adolescent IQ of 95, whereas those who said they were "very liberal" averaged 106.

"Liberals are more likely to be concerned about total strangers; conservatives are likely to be concerned with people they associate with," he said.

Given that human ancestors had a keen interest in the survival of their offspring and nearest kin, the conservative approach fits with the evolutionary picture more than liberalism, Kanazawa said. "It's unnatural for humans to be concerned about total strangers." he said.

None of this means that the human species is evolving toward a future where these traits are the default, Kanazawa said. "More intelligent people don't have more children, so moving away from the trajectory is not going to happen," he said.

The Health Care Reform Secret that will Lower Premiums: Community Rating!

Here's something I could have told you 40 years ago:

NY Times: Better health doesn’t seem to explain why so many young people forgo health insurance. Rather, income does, according to new survey data released by Gallup.

One interesting point about the current "you're on your own" Republican theory of health care reform: No one has asked Republicans to drop their current government plan for their proposed market driven one. They did this to the Democrats. Funny isn't it. Any tea party protesters want to pose that question at your next town hall? crickets…crickets…crickets.

ALERT! YOU MUST KNOW THIS: All Americans should understand what a "community rating" is. Republicans don't want you to bother with this "trivial" concept, but lowering your health care premiums depends on it. (Yes, Democrats should have been shouting about this all along. Hell, I didn't connect the dots.) “Community rating” refers to the practice of charging a common premium to all members of a heterogeneous risk pool who may have widely varied health spending for the year. It inevitably makes chronically healthy individuals subsidize the health care used by chronically sicker individuals. The purpose of any insurance, of course, is to do precisely that: redistribute the financial burden from the unlucky to the lucky members of a risk pool.

NY Times- Uwe E. Reinhardt an economics professor at Princeton writes:

In virtually every industrialized country outside the United States, the contribution people make toward their health insurance is divorced from their age and health status. While this arrangement — known as community rating — is taken for granted abroad, it is still astoundingly controversial here in the United States. All the more astounding is how many (Republican Senators in Congress) who oppose community rating on principle nevertheless are themselves already beneficiaries of community rating … their health risks pooled (Senators average age 63) with other federal employees (average age 43)… younger federal employers routinely subsidize older senators.

Senator Michael Enzi, a Republican from Wyoming, argues strenuously against community rating … (Arguing that it) forces insurers to charge near uniform rates regardless of health status or habits, drives up health insurance premiums … costs inevitably rise when insurers aren’t allowed to price based on risk.

Close your eyes now and imagine … hearing Senator Enzi’s cry of despair … (after finding out) a requirement that all senators must purchase their health insurance with the premium based on (age and health status) … Can you imagine the fiery oratory … in the august Senate chamber? … the 2010 Blue Cross plan for federal employees cost $6,791 for individuals and $16,124 for families. Were the senators treated as a separate risk pool (just like most Americans), their comparable premiums would be $14,000 for an individual and $32,000 for a family … community-rated … over all 100 senators.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Please Scott Walker, Believe in Us Again!!!

Remember the fire storm over Michelle Obama's comment during the presidential campaign: "For the first time in my adult life I am really proud of my country?" She was accused of hating America and not reflecting mainstream values.

So I found this campaign slogan from Wisconsin gubinatorial candidate and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker surprising...

I guess we haven't won over Scott Walker yet. Maybe if we make him governor, he'll try and like us again.

The Republican "I can do and say anything" but "Democratic traitors can't" double standard applies.

For the Unemployed and the Uninsured, Tough Love from Republican Sen. Jon Kyl

Hey Americans, Republican Senator Jon Kyl is making a point during this Great Recession by holding up the jobs bill.
Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said that Republicans will block consideration of the new bill unless they get “a path forward fairly soon” on the estate tax.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal:
The left says it is a blatant case of the rich holding the poor hostage. The right say it is the only way to get a vote on the estate-tax issue … Lee Farris, Estate Tax Policy Coordinator at the left-leaning United for a Fair Economy called the plan to link the estate tax to the jobs bill “an outrage.”
Hey unemployed, get the message from Republican Sen. Jon Kyl yet?

For the Unemployed and the Uninsured, Tough Love from Republican Sen. Jim Bunning

Hey Americans, Republican Sen. Jim Bunning is making a point during this Great Recession. As reported in the Washington Post: “I’m trying to make a point to the people of the United States.” And to get your attention, he's going to block the following soon to expire safety nets from a demoralized American public:

BLOCK the extension of unemployment pay,

BLOCK extending federal subsidies to help pay health premiums for people who have lost health insurance along with their jobs,

BLOCK extending the current Medicare payment rates for doctors through March 31,

BLOCK providing flood insurance,

BLOCK small business loans,

BLOCK the copyright license used by satellite television providers.

Hey unemployed, get the message from Republican Sen. Jim Bunning yet?

Olbermann asks, Who's the Socialist Mr. Gingrich?

We're seeing more and more Democrats finding the courage to come out of their shell, and call out the Republicans on their over the top hypocrisy and flim-flam ideas for America. It's new to the news media outlets. No one knows how to react to it, except to say that it's seen as partisan bickering from "both sides." Despite the fact that liberal criticism is reality based, loaded with specific examples, many are comparing this offensive with right wing fictions and fear mongering.

Take for instance this long overdue comparison from Keith Olbermann on Newt Gingrich's accusation that Obama is a socialist. He warns us of a government that knows what's best for America, and is dictated from liberal intellectual elitists. It's conservative "projection" of their own authoritarian tendencies, of course, where they dictate to the rest of us what makes us God fearing, down home simple everyday freedom loving Americans.

Repackaging the Nuke Option, the Ultimate in GOP Spin.

For a real lesson in marketing and product identification, this effort by the Republicans on redefining the nuke option as reconciliation as opposed to doing away with the filibuster, is a wonder to behold. What I'm wondering is how they can plan something like this without a paper trail or secretly recorded clips of their propagandist meetings. Rachel Maddow picks this insanity apart piece by piece.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Obama Justifies Regulation, Making America Safer and Healthier, to Rep. Eric Cantor

Below, President Obama explains the complicated matter of health care, a 17th of our economy, to the clueless and partisan Rep. Eric Cantor. It would seem logical solving anything that large and that troubled to get our country back on track, instead of leaving the problem alone for the time being. On a personal note, I'm am so tired of hearing this guys whiny voice.

Fox News:
Obama briefly addressed the coverage point and then turned to the stacked health care bill.

"You know, when we do props like this, you stack it up and you repeat 2,400 pages, et cetera -- the truth of the matter is that health care is very complicated. And we can try to pretend that it's not, but it is," Obama said. "These are the kind of political things we do that prevent us from actually having a conversation."

Obama Trashes Health Savings Accounts, Blowing up Another Republican Gimmick

I've made my feelings known on how bad health savings accounts are for holding costs down, because they don't, but in the clip below President Obama has a different take. A persuasive one.

Sen. John Barrasso, another cold blooded Republican doctor, proves just how disconnected he his from his former patients. Maybe that's why he got into politics.

click to start:

Health Savings Accounts Huge Rip-off, Big Premium Increases

Republican Rep. Dave Camp touted the small premium increases for health savings accounts. Complete bullshit. I've had an HSA for 8 years, and it's really expensive. My increase was over 30 percent, not one percent or less as Camp offers up here.

Rep. Camp said HSA accounts DECLINED for families, and had the guts to say in front of the American people and president. Do the math on the picture to the right, with three years of HSA premium increases, and tell me how they declined.

By my calculations, in five years my premiums would be over $1000 month, with a $10,000 deductable (my plan before I dropped coverage completely). The newer bill on the left would have been $700 more, but the prescription plan was dropped to reign in the monthly cost. Click on picture to enlarge.

That's some "decrease."

click start button for video below:

Rep. Paul Ryan Pushes Business control over Medical Care.

Here's a quick edit on the Rep. Paul Ryan exchange regarding business groups and insurance companies making our healh care decisions for us, as opposed to having any oversight or rules to protect Americans.

In Ryan's world, business will take care of us (until they can't make a profit anymore, that is).....

Click start to see video..


All right. Rob, here's basically what we're looking at. The difference is this. We don't think all the answers lie in Washington regulating all of this. So the problem with the approach we are seeing that you're offering, which I do believe, Senator, is very different than what we're saying, is we don't want to sit in Washington and mandate all of these things. So what you're (inaudible) is you're defining exactly what kind of health insurance people can have, you're mandating them to buy this kind of health insurance.

And so we simply say, look, if the National Restaurant Association or the National Federation of Independent Business on behalf of their members wants to set up an association health plan, we think they'll probably do a good job on behalf of their members. Let them decide to do that instead of restricting insurance competition.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Even in Wisconsin, Sex Ed is "Controversial." Only if your a Right Wing Loon.

Ever since the liberal Capital Times became a web only newspaper, it's conservative counterpart daily has exerted undo influence over the online stories perspectives. For instance, sex ed. Note the outrage in the stories title:
"Gov. Doyle signs controversial sex ed
What's so "controversial?
(The) bill … updates Wisconsin’s sex education standards by requiring public school districts that have sex ed classes to also teach about sexually transmitted diseases and methods of safe sex. The act is intended to provide comprehensive, medically accurate, unbiased and age-appropriate information to students in classrooms that teach human growth and development courses.
You see, its only "controversial" to the lunatic right wing fringe, which for some reason is portrayed in this story as the victim. The question I have is whether the media will follow-up on the following wacky prediction of schools dropping out of sex ed altogether.

But pro-life groups and conservative politicians warn that some school districts will drop sex ed if they are forced to teach about STDs and safe sex practices.
It's not like the schools don't have some flexability:

The bill also preserves the ability of school boards to opt out of human growth and development curricula and preserves the ability of parents to review the curricula and exempt their children.
Why do we give these fringe elements one shred of credibility.

WellPoint Inc.'s 39 Million Dollar Executives and 30 $27 Million Dollar Executive Retreats! They're Hurting?

Insurance rates skyrocketing to 39 percent is now somebody else's fault:

AP- Angela Braly, president of WellPoint Inc., blamed the increases on the growing price tags for hospital care and pharmaceuticals. "Raising our premiums was not something we wanted to do," Braly said. "But we believe this was the most prudent choice."
Blaming the actual health care providers is not the only thing the insurance industry is doing, they're:
…purging its sickest customers while spending millions on exorbitant salaries and retreats for its executives, congressional Democrats said … the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said at a hearing on WellPoint Inc. that his panel's investigators had received internal company documents showing that in 2008, 39 company executives received salaries of $1 million or more. And in 2007 and 2008, it spent $27 million for 103 executive retreats.
While families are holding car washes and garage sales to help pay their doctors and hospital bills, WellPoint Inc. can't schedule enough executive retreats.

If you're a Republican, how can you defend this market based inhumanity, and still sleep at night.

Udall Serious About Doing something About the Filibuster

Wouldn't you know it, the Republicans once again pushed the envelope of reason to the breaking point. Fulfilly their promise to prove government is bad by breaking it into a gazillion pieces, souring public opinion along the way, who would have guessed they would require a 60 votes majority on every bill in the Senate. No one. And then the GOP has the balls to whine about the lack of bipartisanship and a gridlocked congress.

Oddly, the press still insists both sides are to blame. Really, no one knew Obama wanted to reform health care and push for clean alternative energy? Suddenly the reason voters elected Democrats into the majority is somehow "radical" and "socialist."

Maybe Sen. Mark Udall will finally adjust or do away with the filibuster rules. Rachel Maddow:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Stimulus Facts, or CBO Fiction?

The stimulus facts, or don't believe a word of this liberal CBO malarkey

If you were to hear Rep. Paul Ryan talk about his draconian dissembling of Social Security and Medicare, the CBO's conclusion that federal spending will go down as a result of his plans, you'd think God gave his stamp of approval. But if the CBO supports anything Democratic, it's either wrong or wishful thinking on the CBO's part.

So having set it up this way, here's the good news, from the conservative Washington Times:

CBO sees big job boost from stimulus act … added at least 1 million new jobs and possibly as many as 2.1 million jobs in the final three months of last year, and lowered the unemployment rate by at least a half a percentage point, according to a new analysis from Congress's official scorekeeper. "The policies that were enacted in the stimulus bill are increasing GDP and employment relative to what they otherwise would be," said Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Now the bad news from our happy Republican friends:

But Republicans said the stimulus, which now totals $862 billion in new spending programs and tax cuts, has been good for government but not for creating private-sector jobs. "If you're a government worker or belong to a teachers union, the stimulus has worked," said Rep. Kevin Brady, Texas Republican.
Republicans hate the idea government workers weren't fired, which would have downsized big government, leaving families across America without away to pay their bills, buy food, be good consumers or make their next mortgage payment. Public employees spend lots of money in their communities. But splitting hairs is the kind of doom and gloom stuff you get from the party of no, and a reason why public opinion on the economy is in the tank. Say it enough, people will start believing it there's no recovery. But…

Stimulus contractors say they've created about 600,000 jobs directly from the spending, but the CBO uses economic modeling to reach its conclusions. That accounts for the wide range of potential job creation. The CBO also said U.S. gross domestic product in the final quarter of 2009 was 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent higher than would have been the case without stimulus spending.
These facts should not get in the way of pure ideology though. What is really important is winning the next election.

Even Paul Ryan Lies...all the time.

I am not obsessed with Rep. Paul Ryan. I'm really more amazed at the adoring respect given his draconian ideas simply because he has the courage expose them to the light of day. He has a plan, no doubt about it, but a bad one the forces Americans to ration their own life saving health care. To Ryan, it's heroic to see a father turn down treatment that might save his life so he won't leave his family broke and his children out on the street.
Said Ryan: "Rationing happens today! The question is who will do it? The government? Or you, your doctor and your family?"

That's self rationing. That's Paul Ryan's plan.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville): “Like the deeply flawed House and Senate bills, the president’s overhaul violates the very goals he laid out: It raises hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes, drives health care costs up, not down, and forces millions of Americans to lose the coverage they now enjoy. We can fix what’s broken in health care without breaking what’s working, without trillions of dollars in new spending, taxes and debt and without the government taking it over.”
Let's start with Ryan's first point: "Raises hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes…" Many Republicans have taken pledges never to raise taxes, no matter what. If you're running a business, or a government, that's a bad policy. Pay go, remember? This is not a tax on lower and middle class Americans, but a tax on the top 1 percent. On average about 16 percent of the really wealthy's income is taxed, while you and me pay around 30 to 40 percent. No, really.

"Drives health care costs up, not down…" Wrong, the CBO contradicts Ryan here by saying the Democratic plan saves over $120 billion the first ten years, and over a trillion dollars the next ten years. By the way, this is the same CBO Ryan's been talking up as the final word on his plan, a plan the CBO says with caveats, saves federal dollars but not consumer dollars.
We'll just get stuck with the bill as individuals, alone, living in terror of our own ill health.

Republicans Defensive about Toyota, After Trying to Bankrupt GM & Chrysler. Hitched Your Horse to Wrong Wagon Guys?

All week I've been trying to remind everyone how the Republicans, southern Republicans, bashed GM and Chrysler for matching the quality standards set by Toyota, and not using their business model to keep pace. Looks like the Democrats missed another chance to demonstrate just how wrong Republican were. At the same time, GOP politicians are back peddling and making excuses that just don't pass the smell test. Like this:

Washington Post: Republicans found themselves in a tough situation during the Toyota safety hearing … then there is the question of the U.S. taxpayer-financed bailout of the American auto industry, in effect, making the U.S. government a partner of Toyota’s competitors.

Excuse #1: Did United States regulators go easy on Toyota because of the taxpayer investment Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) asked. “Just because I’m paranoid, doesn’t mean somebody isn’t out to get me,” he said.

Excuse #2: Haley Barbour: I said Toyota was the world's premier automobile manufacturer. I still believe that. It seems to me, however, that the company is doing everything it should as quickly as possible to make things right. The way that Congress and the Obama administration respond to this controversy will have real economic consequences. We cannot lose sight of the company's importance to America's economy -- and should not ignore its continued commitment to doing things the right way.
I didn't see the same concern for the U.S. auto makers and the impact their failure would have on the American economy. Barbour continued:

Across America, Toyota -- together with its 1,500 dealers and 500 suppliers -- has helped create more than 200,000 jobs. That's why I hope Congress will resist the temptation to attack Toyota simply to advance the interests of its American competitors. Toyota should not be blamed implicitly for the problems of Detroit's automakers.
Fabricating some kind of tie-in with Detroit is about as crooked as it gets. Turning the Toyota debacle into pure political grandstanding has been taken to new heights:

Lawmakers must tread carefully lest they give Chrysler … or General Motors, in which the government now owns a majority stake, an unfair advantage. If Congress and the media treat Toyota differently, foreign businesses might think again before investing in Mississippi or any other state. During these hearings, excessive bashing of Toyota is likely to be interpreted as a signal that the United States is turning protectionist during these tough economic times.
Nice try, but I'm not going to forget how quick Republicans were in their attempts to throw American auto manufacturers under the foreign made bus. What hypocrites.
Click start to see video:

Health Care Reform means Life and Economic Freedom. It's that Simple.

Some may not know it, but we have a liberal Frank Luntz (minus the deception), and his name is George Lakoff. Let's face it, the Democrats wouldn't be where they are today if they had listened to Lakoff, and the advice he's been giving about messaging the health care reform bill. But that's water under the bridge. Here's Lakoff's latest attempt to herd the Democratic cats:

Huffinton Post: "Life and freedom are moral issues. It is time for Democrats to talk about health in those terms. Health means freedom. If you have a serious illness or injury and cannot get it treated, your freedom will be limited in many ways. Your physical freedom: you may no longer have the freedom to move around. Your economic freedom: you may not be able to work or your medical bills may impoverish you. Your emotional freedom: you will not be free to live a happy life.

Your security is far more likely to be threatened by the lack of treatment for illness and injury than by any likely terrorist attack. Real terror is seen in the thousands of letters sent to the White House and Congress by people whose lives have been shattered or threatened by the behavior of the health insurance corporations. If you are sick or injured and that happens to you, you face terror -- very real terror.

Where the conservatives argue loss of freedom ("government takeover") and life ("death panels" and abortion), the administration has been giving policy wonk arguments about economic and pragmatic policy ... But they do not communicate the moral issues.

Affordability means economic freedom! Why should anti-trust exemptions be ended for health insurance companies? Economic freedom! Anti-trust exemptions function like corporate bailouts. They transfer the money from ordinary people into corporate coffers. They threaten our economic freedom.

It is time to return to the moral fundamentals. Health security is deeply patriotic -- perhaps our most important form of security. Health means life. Health means freedom. Everyone can understand that."

George Lakoff is Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. His latest book is The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist's Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics

Monday, February 22, 2010

Possible Candidate for President in 2012, Ind. Gov. Mitch Daniels Once predicted: "We are going to run gigantic surpluses as far as the eye can see."

Republicans are coming out of their shell. Like Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to give people the free right to ration their own life saving health care costs, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is also pushing the "grown-up conversation" that would shift the burden of care to seniors.

My dad once told me that in the old days, when we had actual poor houses, the elderly and the poor sometimes used the "black bottle" as their final solution to their pain and poverty. I guess it's time to return to the good old days.

As a possible 2012 Republican candidate for president, Daniels, who served as Bush's director of the Office of Management and Budget said:
Washington Post: Two months ago, (I said) "we're going to have to have some grown-up conversations in this country," Daniels alluded to the survival issues … debt and deficits, and the size and role of government … "It is one thing for people to say, 'oh my gosh, this is unaffordable -- these deficits, these entitlements, these unfounded liabilities … It will be another when people find out exactly what it would take to prevent that. Are we still a country where people would prefer freedom, personal autonomy, with the risks and responsibilities that go with it, or do we want to socialize all the risks we can and settle for what I think is the false security of statism and so forth?" Daniels acknowledged that the solutions to the problems of debt and deficits could involve sacrifices that would make the messenger unpopular. He admitted that making those problems the focal point of a Republican campaign could impede a potential comeback by the party. But he said he has become convinced that the issues will have to be raised in any case.
Let me repeat: If the government can't afford health care and retirement spending, how can individual Americans. If your wondering if Mitch Daniels would be a good candidate for president, check out this interview from the spring of 2001 with Meet the Press' Tim Russert about the Bush tax cuts, despite economists warnings*:

RUSSERT: Mr. Daniels, we've had nearly a million layoffs since George Bush became president. The Dow Jones slipped below 10,000. The surplus is vanishing quickly. How long will we be in this recession?

MR. MITCH DANIELS: Hard telling, Tim. But it remains the president's first concern and obviously was one motivation for the tax cuts that he pushed through Congress, which now we can all see were very, very well timed and well conceived.

MR. RUSSERT: But as CBO pointed out, if you look out for 10 years, the surplus is more than $2 trillion less than projected. Many people are suggesting scaling back on the tax cut, or scaling back on government .... Bottom line, Mr. Daniels, where are you going to find a way to keep the budget out of deficit? … Where do you find the money?

MR. DANIELS: Tim, another penalty flag. You're a smart guy. When you take in $158 billion more than it costs to pay all your bills, including interest, that's called a surplus. And we are going to run gigantic surpluses as far as the eye can see.

In his 29 month time in the Bush administration, Daniels oversaw a $236 billion annual surplus turn into a $400 billion deficit. Daniels also leased out Indiana's toll way, for a one time payment, and the promise of higher tolls for drivers who then can't blame government. Daniels also knew this dirty little secret about the AMT, where it would eventually start taking away middle class tax cut savings:
CNN, May 27, 2001: Tax experts said the new bill (Bush tax cut) gives families with children the largest tax breaks. At the same time, they said, it makes more taxpayers subject to an additional tax designed originally to keep the very wealthy from avoiding their fair share of the tax bill. The tax cuts in the new bill will bring many taxpayers closer to the threshold that would require them to pay the AMT -- and as more cuts are gradually implemented, more taxpayers will have to pay it.
Now as a way to do away with entitlements, Republicans want to repeal the AMT and blow a gigantic hole in the budget, and increase the already high national debt.

* Sorry, no link. I didn't save links or attribution way back when, at a time I used this stuff on my radio program. This transcript is probably available in the Meet the Press archives.

N. Carolina Candidate for Congress D'Annunzio's Machine Gun Social Part of New GOP.

Imagine what it would be like to have a congress filled with Tim D'Annunzio's. The nightmarish North Carolina candidate is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here's what happened at a recent fundraiser, courtesy of WTVD:
It was a typical political fundraiser with barbecue, handshakes and a raffle. Then somebody asked a shocking question. “What would you like to shoot this evening... an MP5 or an UZI?” And such has been Tim D‟Annunzio‟s entire run for Congress. His Machine Gun Social last week … in Fayetteville was the latest newsmaker in a surging campaign that may be tapping into a growing undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the traditional political structure in Washington … offered supporters a chance to shoot two types of machine guns at the indoor shooting range for $25 a piece. More than 70 people took advantage of the unusual opportunity.

D'Annunzio's approach might be working. An "internal poll" showed D’Annunzio got "24 percent of the vote across the district; Harold Johnson came in second with 10 percent, followed by Hal Jordan with 7 percent."

Hal Jordan? That's bad news for those who know that Hal Jordon is secretly Green Lantern, and would make a great congressman.

At his blog, Christ War (I'm not kidding), candidate Tim D’Annunzio flips reality on its head with a bad case of "projection." D'Annunzio's opinionated ranting's may reflect the conservative party's philosophy in general, but the conservative strategy utilizes the very strategy they keep warning us to fight against. The following horrific plot is the GOP strategy:

Hamilton’s warning about … what overturns liberties and brings in tyranny. Hamilton warned about the politician who comes along stirring up people with a fawning attentiveness to the “rights” they are being denied, and then uses this sentiment to propel themselves to power. They continue to use this tactic until they have amassed enough power to then ignore the will of the people and any laws (constitution). Hamilton says they begin demagogues and end tyrants. Adams describes (how a) politician causes the people, through fear (crisis) and lust, to first think they are being deprived of something they have a right to and that the person’s happiness and security lies in getting that thing.

The demagogue presents themselves as the one who will supply the need and therefore provide for the person's security and happiness. As we have seen this works time after time because happiness and security are never found in these things. Once the demagogue has the person coveting they can present thing after thing and happiness is always just one more thing away.

If you think this nut just gave us the GOP's underlying strategy for taking power and keeping it in Washington over the last one and a half decades, you would be right.

Ironically speaking, we've all been warned.

IRS Terrorist Joe Stack's Daughter Says He's A Hero. Attack Inappropriate.

Flying planes into buildings is just one "inappropriate" way to protest the evils of big government. It's okay, really. Suicide protester Joe Stack at least made his point.

First a recap of a previous Democurmudgeon post: "The pilot was identified as Andrew Stack. The IRS has offices in the building complex that was struck. Federal officials said shortly after the crash into the Austin office complex that houses FBI and IRS offices that they had no reason to suspect the incident was terrorism related."

Now comes the jaw dropping update below from ABC News with Stack's adult daughter:

Asked if he considered her father a hero, she said "yes." She spoke in a telephone interview from Norway, where she lives.
By the way, you won't believe why Samantha Bell moved to Norway…government health care benefits. Check out this bizarre twist near the end the video clip, it's the ultimate in hypocrisy.

Video is there, despite black box, click start button.

"The daughter of (Joe Stack) is calling her father a hero. Samantha Bell, tells ABC's "Good Morning America" the plane attack was "inappropriate." But she praised his anti-government and anti-tax views. Bell says her father was not a hero for taking a life, but "because now maybe people will listen."

Stack targeted the IRS office building in Austin ... killing employee Vernon Hunter and himself, after posting a ranting manifesto against the agency.

Hunter's son, Ken Hunter, says he's alarmed by comments that called the pilot a hero.

"The only difference he made was he took away from my family and murdered a 20-year U.S. Army vet," Ken Hunter said."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gov. Schwarzenegger Confirms: Republicans Hypocites on Stimulus.

After the media reported that the Democrats had a good week exposing the hypocrisy of Republican lawmakers bashing the stimulus, while touting job creating stimulus checks in their districts, it looks like that week might become two weeks. This is the view of Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on ABC, as reported by the Washington Post:

Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger came out swinging Sunday morning on the stimulus bill -- but against members of his own party.

Speaking to host Terry Moran on ABCs "This Week" program, Schwarzenegger accused Republicans of being hypocrites for bad-mouthing the Recovery Act championed by President Obama while also eagerly accepting stimulus money for projects in their states.

"Well, you know, to me I find it interesting that you have a lot of the Republicans running around and pushing back on the stimulus money and saying this doesn't create any new jobs, and then they go out and they do the photo ops and they are posing with the big check and they say, isn't this great?" he said. "Look what the kind of -- the kind of money I provide here for the state, and this is great money to create jobs, and this has created 10,000 new jobs and this has created 20,000 new jobs. And all of these kind of things. It doesn't match up."

That is exactly the argument the White House has been making for more than a week, as the one-year anniversary of the Recovery Act passage sparked a fresh debate about its effectiveness.

Health Care Freeloaders Embrace the Health Care Freedom Act. Now they don't have to buy coverage.

At, the hot topic is a crazy thing called the Health Care Freedom Act.

Supposedly, 35 states are advancing this legislation that frees people from buying health care insurance. As they explain, "it would assure that citizens are protected from unconstitutional mandates to purchase insurance by allowing them to opt-out from any such federal program."

That's the problem with insurance now, and the reason premiums are rising from 39 to over 50 percent; Healthy people aren't buying coverage, leaving the insurers with sicker people, increasing their cost and premiums. The Health Care Freedom Act is a conservative freeloaders dream come true, a reason never to buy insurance, all under the guise of "freedom." Here are a few comments that followed this story:

Liberal comment:
Health Care Freedom Act? Who do you think foots the bill for your "freedom". Remember now, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Answer- the persons with health insurance and the government pay the bill when you get sick and do not have health insurance. I thought the "conservative" movement was all about individual responsiblity. What a bunch of B.S.
Conservative comment:
At least conservatives strive for individual responsibility, whereas the Liberal ideology is rooted in being social leeches across the board. Health costs are a problem but forcing free people to buy insurance isnt the answer and our lazy legislators need to work harder to find a solution instead of reverting to fascism. BS is what i say to giving up my freedom
Liberal Comment:
Buddy- your freedom ends when it affects my wallet and if you do not have insurance, you are affecting my wallet. I have a deal for you, care to accept? If you do not have insurance, then do not go to the hospital for any reason. So if you are in an accident and it is not your fault, you will simply be left there. Oh, I know you will sue the person responsible. So what? There is no guarantee they will have the financial resources to foot the bill. Good luck. You are living in Wonderland.
Conservative comment:
My point is there is hard work to do to find a solution and embracing fascism is not the answer. Your solutions are incomprehensible, aka LALA land. I know a good first step 1-tort reform, but our jerk off president and his jerk off party are in the pockets of the lawyers who have been driving medical costs thru the roof, have you been paying attention?
Liberal Comment:
Tort reform. Please. I am LMAO. Nebraska has had tort reform from the beginning. In Nebraska, punitive damages have been banned by our state constitution since statehood and medical malpractice awards have been capped for more than 20 years. My insurance rates still doubled in seven years. You are the one living in LALA land. Embracing fascism? So are you one of the ones who are milking the system and not being responsible for your health care? I bet I know the answer to that one.
Conservative comment:
You dont like tort reform, let me guess youre an attorney or your sig. other is. "i bet i know the answer to that" said in a mocking tone.
Liberal comment:
I see. So you can not pay for your insurance. Well then, your solution is to pass the buck to someone else. I will answer your whine with the standard conservative mantra, work two jobs, go back to school to get a better education, move to a smaller home. Every year the number of the businesses offering insurance decreases. Why? Who do you think picks up this tab. As far as my profession, it has nothing to do with the fact Nebraska has always banned punitive damages, enacted tort reform more than 25 years ago and my rates still went up right along with the same percentage increase as all the other states.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Republican Goal is to Convince Public "Their" Dramatic Plans for Change Nothing to Worry About.

The assumption for the following Wall Street Journal perspective is that Republicans can be trusted to make decisions Americans can trust, and Democrats aren't even in the picture. Trust is key to Americans, even when they know the Rep. Paul Ryan plan and other like him leave everyone short changed and a dollar short. But the myth must be maintained; Republicans are "fiscally conservative." The free market must be preserved, even if Social Security and Medicare will wither and die. If the private sector can't keep these programs alive, then what's the use of keeping them around. And that goes double for retirees and seniors with failing health.

The odd thing is, the Wall Street Journal exposes the GOP exploitation of uncertainty and fear of change, while making the case the same party will quell the fears and uncertainty with a magical sense of leadership.

But the Ryan plan is, inevitably, as complicated as the entitlements it seeks to reform, involving vouchers and tax credits, cost controls and privatization.

In the long run the Republicans have to do two things … They have to prepare the ground for an American decision—a decision by a solid majority of America's adults—that they can faithfully back specific cuts in federal spending: that they can trust the cuts will be made fairly, that we will all be treated equally, that no finagling pols will sneak in "protection" for this pet interest group or that power lobby, that we are in this together as a nation and can make progress together as a nation.

Second the Republicans should tread delicately while moving forward seriously. Voters are feeling as never before in recent political history the vulnerability of their individual positions. There is no reason to believe they are interested in highly complicated and technical reforms, the kind that go under the heading "homework."

As in: "I know my future security depends on understanding this thing and having a responsible view, but I cannot make it out. My whole life is homework. I cannot do more."

We are not a nation of accountants, however much our government tries to turn us into one.

Margaret Thatcher once told me what she learned from the poll-tax protests that prompted her downfall. She said she learned in a deeper way how anxious people are, how understandably questioning and even suspicious they are of governmental reforms and changes: "They're frightened, you see." None of us feel we have a wide enough margin for error.

Americans lack trust that government will act in good faith, which is part of why they're anxious. They look at every bill, proposal and idea with an eye to hidden horrors. The good news is the new consensus that America must move forward in a new way to get spending under control. The bad news is we don't trust Washington to do it. And in the end, only Washington can.

Paul Ryan is doing exactly what a representative who's actually serious should do—putting forward innovative and honest ideas for long-term solutions.

Funny, not one Democrat is serious enough or bold enough to leave every American equally hanging out there alone without a safety net, while at the same time thankfully , saving the government money. What a trade off.

Sorry about the Black Video Boxes, but Blogger Lacks Tech Support Reporting.

I've been struggling with this for a week. The forums are filled with old bugs and responses, nothing recent.

I've tried their "draft blogger" editing tool but that just scrambles paragraphs and deletes others. It's got great stuff on it, but nonfunctional for the most part if it ends up scrambling the post.

I just want to take a week off and let them get the bugs out, but I'm hoping to get some kind of response.

I will keep plugging away.

Again, sorry about the video black holes. They are distracting.

Hatch Heckled, Hatch Dismisses Tea Partiers...but only the fringers.

It looks like Sen. Orin Hatch can't take a little criticism. Hey, it's only a few fringe elements of the tea party movement.

CPAC Radicals on Display. Can they say these things and get away with it?

Rachel Maddow takes a quick look at the pomp at CPAC.

Rachel Maddow highlights the conservative language of violence. For me, the following examples lay out their logical next steps by the Republican, conservative, tea party fringe movement of the political right.

The irony: if conservatives were swept into power again because the opposition party couldn't repair the damage conservatives caused in the first place. I fear many more need to feel the pain before real change can come about. It's hard to imagine, but maybe McCain should have won, so we could finally see how the Randian, Dickensian political will of the GOP, is really poison.

CPAC Rhetoric of Fear, Freedom, Free Markets and God's Constitution

Why editorialize here, when the following examples say more about the current conservative agenda of nothing in particular, than I could in a year.

KansasCity: Gov. Tim Pawlenty warned Obama not to "try to take our freedoms."

KansasCity: Gov. Tim Pawlenty warned Obama not to "try to take our freedoms."

And Pawlenty made sure that his Democratic foe knows, "The implication is, we're kind of bumpkins … The Constitution is on our side. We're on the side of freedom. We're on the side of individual responsibility. We're on the side of free markets. We're on the side of rule of law. We're on the side of limited government. God is in charge," he said. "If it's good enough for the Founding Fathers, then it should be good enough for each and every one of us."

FoxNews: The speakers participating in "Jihad: America's Third Rail," an "unofficial" panel wanted their standing-room only audience to know that there's more to fear than jihad it's Islam itself that is the threat. Wafa Sultan, author of A God Who Hates, argued that Islam is a tryannical religion and was roundly applauded when she was introduced as a "former Muslim." Steve Coughlin, who says he was fired from his job as a Pentagon analyst for his un-PC examination of the Koran as a justification for jihad, told the audience … the threat of jihad is closer than we think, "you think they (jihadists) are fighting a war there? I think they are fighting a war right here."

Others speakers included Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, who is being investigated for hate speech in Austria for her critical seminars on Islam … Attendees were asked for picture identification because they did not want "certain people coming in," said one guard.

Washington Post: Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) received one of the most thunderous ovations so far in the three-day conference when he delivered a stinging assault on Obama's agenda and a plea to deliver the nation from "the bondage of big government." When Pence updated a line used by conservatives at past gatherings, he brought down the house: "A recession is when your neighbor loses his job, and a depression is when you lose your job, and a recovery is when [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi loses her job."

CPAC and Gay Bashing, is Anyone Surprised.

Is the tea party movement a gathering place for bigots, racists and anti-government malitia types? Hope upon hope, the crowds reaction here may have opened a few of their eyes.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cavuto's GOP Freak Show: Pitts and Buttars=Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum

This is just a sample of the odd and unusual coming from the Republican Party of crazy.
Video there, just click play button to watch:

Rep. Paul Ryan Honored...Countdown's Hypocrisy Hall of Shame

Warning! Conservatives Trying to Take Ownership of Constitution. Tea Party Movement Populated with Constitutional Scholars.

The The Mount Vernon Statement is an important sounding document, cleverly marketed as a tribute to George Washington. The most famous conservative ideologues were all there, those elite anti-American government leaders who knew better than most of us how to tank the global economy -- "names like Grover Norquist, Ed Meese, Richard Viguerie, Edwin Feulner and Alfred Regnery."
The Huffington Post wrote this: The proclamation (is) based on the Sharon statement -- a conservative declaration signed in 1960, that is credited with helping "launch and define the conservative movement … "The change we urgently need, a change consistent with the American ideal, is not movement away from but toward our founding principles," the statement reads. These founding principles, the drafters believe, can be broadly-defined as Constitutional conservatism. They then provide a short bulleted list of the way they believe these principles should apply to government.
Did you get that? The Mount Vernon Statement can be BROADLY-defined as Constitutional conservatism. It may not necessarily be a strict interpretation of the constitution, or may not be completely un-constitutional considering some parts, but can surely be BROADLY-defined as generally constitutional.

I guess it depends on how you might interpret the constitution. Or if we all wanted to make it simple, we could leave it up to the new Constitutional Conservatives to decide for us what the founding father meant, since constitution is right there in their title. Dylan Rattigan on MSNBC:

Video is here, just click start to watch:

Think Progress posted this great interview from CPAC regarding the movement to impeach Obama, demonstrating just how powerful their "constitutional" message is:

Google needs to fix video thumbnails, click start to watch:

At CPAC, ThinkProgress spoke with the Western Center for Journalism’s Caleb Heimlich, who was advocating on behalf of the “Impeach Obama” campaign being run by the Policy Issues Institute:
HEIMLICH: Basically the gist of our case is that Gerald Ford said “an impeachable offense is anything that Congress says it is.” And so our argument is that…Obama is not living up to the Constitution and therefore if you can prove that, he can be impeached."

Heimlich cited the auto bailouts, health care reform, and the stimulus as the specific reasons for impeaching President Obama, arguing that the Constitution does not give that authority. ThinkProgress then pointed out that it would be Congress, not the President, that would pass health care reform (and passed the Recovery Act). “That is a good point,” Heimlich conceded. He later acknowledged that he and his supporters want to throw Obama out of office based on policy disagreements:

TP: So basically, what you’re saying is your grounds for impeachment is based on your differences in – the policy differences that you have with the President and the Democrats in Congress.

HEIMLICH: Partially. It’s based on the policy differences with regards to the Constitution … We believe that if you’re not following the Constitution then you’re not fulfilling your oath of office and you shouldn’t be there.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Media Fairness can be achieved if we had only one Perspective.

The right wing media 24/7? Fair?
It appears Red State's Erick Erickson is no longer going to keep secret the right wings lock on media domination, an allegation conservatives have been denying for decades, with his shockingly open declaration below:
Click start to see video:

Ryan and Rubio Pretend Their Free Market Great Recession a Fluke, Blame Liberal Statism

Florida's darling candidate Marco Rubio took to the stage at CPAC, parroting a theme hatched by Rep. Paul Ryan, a convoluted paranoid vision of fear and "statism." It's a developing theme pushed by Ryan, who's expertise in Dickensian capitalism is without pier or shame, a theme that has now caught on like the black death. Check the similarities between Ryan's message and Rubio's.

Washington Independent: Ryan said his vote for the bailout was influenced by Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, a popular book among conservatives that argues that Nazism and other fascist movements were actually left wing in origin, and his belief that a second Depression would threaten capitalism—and rescue Obama’s presidency.

“I’m a limited-government, free-enterprise guy, but TARP… represented a moment where we had no good options and we were about to fall into a deflationary spiral,” he said. “I believe Obama would not only have won, but would have been able to sweep through a huge statist agenda very quickly because there would have been no support for the free-market system.”
Here's Rubio's rendition:
ABC News: "2010 is a referendum on the very identity of our nation," Rubio said as he portrayed President Obama's policies, without mentioning by him name, of that like a socialist country like the one his parents fled.
"In 2008, leaders with this world view won elections," he said. "Over the last 12 months, they have used a severe economic downturn, a severe recession, as an excuse to implement the statist policies that they have longed for all this time. In essence, they are using this downturn as cover not to fix America, but to try to change America -- to fundamentally redefine the role of government in our lives and the role of America in the world."
Isn't it odd how the Democratic approach to government is patently bad for America, while the Republican approach should be given a second chance to prove it doesn't always result in a recession . The chart above tells a different story.

Austin IRS Attack Not Domestic Terrorism? Media Tries to Protect Anti-government Tea Partiers.

It's time to protect the "government is bad," anti-tax movement of tea party protesters and Republican small government radicals, by trying to push the idea that the IRS airplane attack in Austin, Texas, by Andrew Stack is NOT a case of domestic terrorism. If the case is made that it was a terrorist attack, interest in the extremist anti-IRS tax protesters may be scuttled between the media and the anti-government tea partiers.

You won't believe the lengths a few in the media will go, including NBC's Pete Williams, to convince us this "plane crashed into a building" attack is not domestic terrorism. Andrew Stack's online manifesto is directed dead center at the government bailouts, health care, insurers, IRS...everything.

Video is there, despite black screen, click to play

Here's more of the Stack's manifesto:

ABC's coverage couldn't be clearer:

A single engine plane smashed into the side of an Austin office buildling today.

The pilot was identified as Andrew Stack. The IRS has offices in the building complex that was struck. Federal officials said shortly after the crash into the Austin office complex that houses FBI and IRS offices that they had no reason to suspect the incident was terrorism related.

"Straight Shooting" Ryan Stimulus Hypocrite.

In an ongoing series featuring high profile stimulus hypocrites, Rachel Maddow gets to our own Rep. Paul Ryan, proving just how Republicans are enjoying having it both ways. If it wasn't for Maddow's series, other media sources including the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, would not have noticed the obvious.

Video is here, despite black screen, so click on play.

Update on Ryan's Road Map to a Dickensian American Future:

Christian Science Monitor: We raised two specific issues. The first was that Ryan's tax proposals are unlikely to generate enough revenue to accomplish his goals, even after he makes major reductions in spending. The second was that, rather than fully analyzing Ryan's Plan, the Congressional Budget Office, at the congressman's request, scored only the spending provisions and simply assumed the tax portion would raise the revenue Ryan claimed.

Taxpolicycenter:org: Word is getting around that CBO has blessed a major budget reform plan proposed by Ryan as, in the words of National Review Online, “a roadmap to solvency.” It isn’t true. All this confusion is due to a letter written on Jan. 27 from CBO director Doug Elmendorf to Ryan. CBO assumed this wonderful outcome would occur only if the revenue portion of Ryan’s plan generated 19 percent of GDP in taxes. And there is not the slightest evidence that would happen. Ryan’s staff asked CBO to ignore it … CBO simply assumed, as the lawmaker requested, that it would generate revenues of 19 percent of GDP.

In fairness, the CBO letter is filled with … disclaimers. In the second paragraph, it says, “This analysis does not represent a cost estimate for this legislation.” It couldn’t be more clear … TPC figured that scheme would reduce tax revenues by between $6 trillion and $8 trillion over 10 years. Unless Ryan can achieve unrealistically large cuts in spending as well, this is not exactly a roadmap to solvency in my book.

Media Focus on GOP Stimulus Bashing, Despite Economic Turnaround and Jobs.

Despite having almost every economist unequivocally praise the Obama stimulus as successful, while keeping the country from slipping into another great depression, the media is determined to give equal time to the partisan GOP spin machines opinion that it has been a major boondoggle. It's as if the Republican attacks were based on economic fact. It's not:

NY Times: President Obama defended his year-old economic stimulus package, as Republicans … wage(d) a furious partisan battle over whether the bill was a monumental waste of taxpayer money or had rescued the economy from catastrophe.
The Republican approach centers on opinion, while reality centers on…

There is little dispute among economists that the measure has kept the jobless rate from being even higher than it is …the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently calculated that the recovery package, formally called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, had saved or created between 900,000 and 2.3 million jobs. “The economy has shed some three million jobs over the past year, but it would have lost closer to five million without stimulus,” said Mark Zandi, “The economy is still struggling, but it would have been much worse without stimulus.”
And like Rachel Maddow has been pointing out for weeks, Republicans have been allowed to be flamboyant hypocrites by the news media:

Democrats sought to portray Republicans as hypocrites for voting against the bill and then rushing to claim their share of stimulus money for projects in their home districts, while Republicans painted the measure as a failure. The Democratic National Committee issued a video of its own, and the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, said Republicans were “trying to have it both ways.” The left-leaning Center for American Progress, a close ally of the Obama administration, issued a list of lawmakers who voted against the recovery act “and then sought and/or took credit for its benefits” — a list that, the group said, included more than half of all Republicans in the House and nearly half in the Senate.
Heck, even the Wall Street Journal had to finally put together their own list of GOP hypocrites. But just as odd are the conservative criticisms that the Democrats haven't put out the blazing economic fire they created, fast enough:

Other leading Republicans … argued that Obama could hardly claim credit for improvements in the economy with three million jobs lost over the past year, unemployment at nearly 10 percent and a deficit at $1.6 trillion. \

But reality, especially in a red state like Mississippi, tells a whole different story:

A new approach that Mississippi and a growing number of states are taking to get people working again … Their salaries will initially be paid by the State of Mississippi, which is tapping into a relatively small pot of welfare money in last year’s stimulus package that can be used to subsidize jobs directly … some 21 states are already taking the direct approach, using a sliver of the $5 billion in welfare money in last year’s stimulus act that can be used to pay governments and private employers to hire people.

Florida recently announced that it would use up to $200 million to create thousands of jobs in the public and private sectors. Los Angeles County set itself a goal of
putting 10,000 people to work with its money. Tennessee's Perry County, paid for roughly 400 jobs, as varied as road workers and pie bakers, the unemployment rate dropped to 18 percent.
While Republicans claim the stimulus hasn't created any jobs…:

For now, stimulus money is paying the salary of Edgar Herring, a 49-year-old who lost his job of 18 years when a local lumber company shut down last fall, at his new job on the housekeeping staff at King’s Daughters Medical Center in Brookhaven.

It is also paying the salary of Roger Thomas, 36, who lost his job as a car salesman, at his new sales job with National Collection Systems, a locally owned waste management company in Jackson.

And it is paying Johnny B. McGowan, 59, Curtis R. Williams, 43, and John McCoy, 46, to install metal studs and Sheetrock in the old Standard Life building in downtown Jackson, an Art Deco tower being converted to apartments.
So what should you believe? The Republicans claims of stimulus failure or the documented proof presented by the CBO and state spending figures?