January 7, 2011

You actually have to make an effort to pretend to be this dumb

The American Spectator prints something so stupid I think it might have actually given my sperm brain damage:

BREAKING: CBO Says Repealing ObamaCare Would Reduce Net Spending by $540 Billion

The Congressional Budget Office, in an email to Capitol Hill staffers obtained by the Spectator, has said that repealing the national health care law would reduce net spending by $540 billion in the ten year period from 2012 through 2021. That number represents the cost of the new provisions, minus Medicare cuts. Repealing the bill would also eliminate $770 billion in taxes. It's the tax hikes in the health care law (along with the Medicare cuts) which accounts for the $230 billion in deficit reduction.

In other news, if I quit a job that pays $100 a day, I'll reduce my net spending cost on subway fare by five bucks.

And like the Republican plan, I won't have healthcare anymore either!

Posted by August J. Pollak at 6:37 PM

January 6, 2011

Only in certain geographically-determined sections of America

I cannot fathom how even the most ignorant and racist of state lawmakers thinks this actually makes sense:

A who's who of lawmakers and activists who have thrust state governments into the debate over illegal immigration came to Washington on Wednesday (Jan. 5) to announce how they propose to stop the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants from becoming American citizens.

Their approach is a lot less sweeping than many had predicted. One of its backers admitted that, for the time being anyway, the proposals would have "very little practical effect." But the goal is to try to force the hand of Congress or the courts to take a new look at the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

"This is a technical, legal method of having the Supreme Court review, once and for all, the phrase in the 14th Amendment. It'll have a dynamic effect if we get the court review we want and the proper interpretation of the 14th Amendment," explained Arizona state Representative John Kavanaugh, a Republican.

Or rather, explained John Kavanaugh, a moron, since the Supreme Court reviewed this "once and for all" over a hundred years ago.

I've touched on this before, but do people who wrap themselves in a "state's rights" argument actually think about the logic of that? Let's ignore for a moment the simple fact that any state law saying an immigrant's child isn't a citizen is instantly invalid on its face because the Constitution inherently overrides it. Let's say that, legally, a state law altered its definition of a citizen outside of other states. How, logically, can that be defended? What exactly is different about Arizona versus say, New Hampshire that describes what an American is?

It's the same logic that makes "state's rights" whining about abortion or the death penalty nonsensical. If you think a fetus is a viable human being at the moment of conception, its DNA isn't different across state lines. Two people committing a heinous murder in the exact same way aren't more or less worthy of a certain type of punishment because one of them happened to do it in Texas.

Individual states deciding whether or not you can be classified as an American sort of flies in the face of that whole "created equal" thing. But obviously they all know this and once again, it's a stupid, pointless, racist show.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:57 AM

January 5, 2011

Random observation of the day

Who could have guessed that an actor who became famous when he talked out of his ass would promote a scientific study that did the exact same thing?

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:48 PM

Searching for Howard Beale

Hi folks. Systems are restoring. How was your vacation? Mine was extended by several days because two feet of snow decided to destroy New Jersey and the governor handled it by going to Disney World. Of course that means he's presidential material.

I've been wondering what the "theme" of 2011 is going to be in politics. It's a very long silly season, in that we're too early to really get into the 2012 election season. But the Republicans have taken over the House and they're already off to a great start, by which I mean they have already started lying on spectacular levels even for them:

Garrett is allied with the extremist "Tenther" effort, which effectively argues the federal government lacks the legal authority to do much of anything outside the explicit text of the Constitution. In practical terms, this means Garrett would like to eliminate all federal spending on public schools and transportation projects, for example, since the Constitution doesn't say federal officials have the authority to invest in education and infrastructure.

With this in mind, we know House Republicans want members to cite constitutional authority when sponsoring bills, but Garrett would like to go even further.

Garrett's House rule resolution would require all bills and amendments to contain a statement appropriately citing a specific power granted to Congress in the Constitution. Invoking the "general welfare clause" or the "necessary and proper clause" would not be adequate constitutional citations.

This is almost hilarious. Republicans want lawmakers to reference the Constitution to justify their legislation, but Scott Garrett wants to exclude the parts of the Constitution he doesn't like.

For all the recent talk from the right about honoring, reading, and celebrating constitutional principles, here we have one extremely conservative Republican insisting that two critical provisions of constitutional text more or less don't count.

And this is just one example. They're also going to make their first vote to try and repeal Health Care Reform, which will increase the deficit by over a hundred billion dollars. They are excusing it by saying that this doesn't count. They claimed they will completely ban earmarks, except for all the earmarks they're going to get by choosing to not call them earmarks.

Analogies to Calvinball are ancient in the blogging world at this point, but it's an apt comparison. This is the GOP saying well in advance that everything they do follows their own set of rules, except when they don't, in which case they are exceptions to rules they made up. It's like the Republican Party wants to run the government by entering cheat codes.

So this is my hope for 2011, and I admit it's a naive one: I'd really like to see if this is the year of the Howard Beale moment. No, Keith Olbermann making yet another Special Comment doesn't count. What I mean is the goal for media reporting and monitoring this year should be to force someone on a major network to finally just break down and flat-out question why the right is so entirely full of shit on something. John Cole wondered a while back if we'll hit peak wingnut; I'm wondering if we'll reach peak this-is-as-much-bullshit-as-even-I-can-take.

Sigh. Yes, I'm saying this now so I can come back to it in twelve months and we can all laugh ironically and then cry and then drink a lot.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:49 AM