March 11, 2009
Ever pounding it
I did a strip four years ago addressing the "anti-pork" birgades on the right with exactly the condescencion and veiled masturbation humor it deserves. In a new article about the air-wasting of John McCain, the same guy who was bitching about this back then, Paul Waldman reminds us of the crucial issue here:
But those earmarks are a huge drain on the federal budget, right? Not really. In the 2008 budget, for instance, the Office of Management and Budget counted11,737 earmarks worth $16.9 billion. In the 2009 omnibus spending bill now being debated, Taxpayers for Common Sense found 8,570 earmarks, worth a total of $7.7 billion. Seems like a lot of money, until you consider how these totals compare to the size of the entire federal budget. The $16.9 billion in 2008 earmarks made up about six-tenths of 1 percent of the budget; depending on where the final numbers end up, this year's total will probably be much less. Moreover, as Mark Schmitt pointed out on Monday, most earmarks don't spend new money, they merely direct federal agencies exactly where to spend money that has already been appropriated.
One of my very first strips has pretty much become one of the governing philosophies of the country at this point: Republicans are never angrier, never more vocal, and never more concerned then when they're facing a non-existent problem.
March 9, 2009
One of my resolutions for 2009 is to actually put aside a weekend and read the entirety of Atlas Shrugged so I can base my declarations of its shit-tinted stain on human culture on the entirety of the book rather than the mere passages of it (if you consider a 30-page speech about the economic case for being an asshole a "passage") I have forced myself to read over the years to understand why several bloggers and pundits are as stupid as they are. I know smart people- friends and family alike- who have read this book and not actually turned into morons. It can be done.
Having not read the book in full, my attempt to summarize would be hypocritical, so this week's installment addresses not the book itself, but what right-wingers have interpreted from it, the newest form being their amazing scheme to make less money in order to not have to pay as many taxes on it. Dave Weigel said it best- it's the right-wing equivalent of "I'm going to Canada if Bush wins." In other words, it's something that right-wingers are whining about, won't actually do, couldn't do if they wanted, because it's stupid, and they're stupid, Jesus.
On a side note, I thought about what I could say to summarize everything I missed this last week while repairing my computer, and I settled on this: a Pulitzer Prize sits on the desk of a woman who just wrote a 400-word essay on Michelle Obama's arm fat. I am not only a cartoonist who yearns for the financial support of the print media establishment, but the son of a person who in fact works at the very paper that prints this woman's columns, and yet a reason to in any way possible defend the continued existence of this publication escapes me.