Saturday, 7/30/11, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

23 responses to “Saturday, 7/30/11, Public Square

  1. It is impossible for me to determine what is believable, but I keep reading and seeking. I don’t vouch for this, but share it.

    $22 trillion Social Security surplus revealed on C-SPAN

    To me what matters the most isn’t how much money there is or isn’t, as how it’s spent. I think our resources should be spent for our most vulnerable first. How can we call ourselves humane otherwise? I think of the ads on television wanting donations for various animal shelters, etc. Many of us (me included!) can’t watch those animals. Wonder if putting out shots of Americans suffering would have the same effect?

  2. If only we could be people and interact with one another, share and cooperate. Medicare for all would save so much money, would solve so many problems.

    If only there didn’t need to be a loser in order for someone to think of themselves or their group as winners. Just think! We could all win together!

    If only all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops…

  3. Richard Nixon Watergate testimony ordered released

    The secret grand jury testimony given by former US President Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal is set to be released after more than 36 years, following an order by a federal judge.

  4. Worse recession

    The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis makes annual revisions to its GDP estimates every July, incorporating more complete and detailed data.

    It now says that the US recession of 2007-2009 was more severe than previously reported, with the economy shrinking by 5.1% over that period, rather than 4.1%.

    But it also says that growth in 2010 was a bit stronger than it had first estimated.

    It now puts 2010 growth at 3%, up from the previous 2.9%.

    • It’s Obama’s fault, ya know.

    • Yes, I know. I know the whole great recession was the fault of the majority-democrat Congress. I know that the slow down in the recovery during the first two quarters of 2011 had absolutely nothing to do with the majority-republican House. I know that republicans take credit and democrats are to blame. 😉

      I also know as long as we argue over who is at fault we don’t have to talk about what we might do to address any of our challenges.

      It took a long time to get to where we went, we should expect it to take some time to get back to where we need to be.

  5. Alex Baldwin has a few things to say on Huffpost. Definitely worth reading, although I don’t agree with him 100%.

    Don’t bother with the comments. I think the Cons have found a new place to rant and rave, with no facts behind them, as usual.

  6. Democrats have now agreed to everything the GOP is demanding except for a repeat of this crisis in 6 months. And its still not enough for the GOP.

    The part I find most fault with is the thought process that seems to be encouraged by the tea folk — stand your ground no matter what, don’t work with “them,” if you make a move be sure it is further to the right. The inflexibility, the extreme partisanship don’t leave any room for progress. But then, they’ve always told us they want to “take their country back,” and we’ve never actually known just how far backwards they want our country to go.

  7. Don’t Fall for the GOP Lie

    By Robert Reich, Robert Reich’s Blog
    29 July 11

    Don’t fall for the GOP lie: There is no budget crisis. There’s a job and growth crisis.

    friend who’s been watching the absurd machinations in Congress asked me “what happens if we don’t solve the budget crisis and we run out of money to pay the nation’s bills?”

    It was only then I realized how effective Republicans lies have been. That we’re calling it a “budget crisis” and worrying that if we don’t “solve” it we can’t pay our nation’s bills is testament to how successful Republicans have been distorting the truth.

    The federal budget deficit has no economic relationship to the debt limit. Republicans have linked the two, and the Administration has played along, but they are entirely separate. Republicans are using what would otherwise be a routine, legally technical vote to raise the debt limit as a means of holding the nation hostage to their own political goal of shrinking the size of the federal government.

    In economic terms, we will not “run out of money” next week. We’re still the richest nation in the world, and the Federal Reserve has unlimited capacity to print money.

    Nor is there any economic imperative to reach an agreement on how to fix the budget deficit by Tuesday. It’s not even clear the federal budget needs that much fixing anyway.

  8. “The Tea Party was a movement that changed the conversation in Washington, but it has steeped too long and has become toxic. It’s time to toss it out.” — Kathleen Parker

  9. Just as bad as ignoring how we got here, we risk missing the story of precisely where the GOP wants to take us. In the coverage of the game (Will Boehner find the votes? Will the Tea Party really drive us off a cliff? Will Eric Cantor lead a revolt?) we sometimes neglect the substance of the proposals. Just what kind of country do the Republicans seek to build? Instead of seeing it as a bargaining chip, perhaps we should treat the GOP proposal as a serious governing document.

    Bob Greenstein, the widely respected president of the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, has done just that. His conclusion:
    The Boehner-GOP plan is “tantamount to a form of ‘class warfare.’ If enacted, it could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. history.”

    Think about that. As the economy teeters on the precipice of a double-dip recession, as millions of Americans search in vain for a job, as tens of millions of homeowners are underwater, as poverty soars and the middle class is hammered, the Speaker of the House is pushing a proposal that—let me repeat Greenstein’s analysis—“could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship in modern U.S. history.” Deep cuts in every domestic priority—from education for disabled children to food safety to homeland security to clean air and water. Followed by painful cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. But not a dollar in new revenue. Not one corporate loophole closed, not one billionaire asked to pay one penny in higher taxes.

    Oh, and if they don’t get their way they will cripple the Treasury’s ability to pay the debt—the debt, I hasten to add, that their policies created.

    It has become a trope of the right to accuse Obama and the Democrats of trying to remake America in the image of Europe. That, of course, is silly as well as insulting to the people who gave us the Magna Carta and the Enlightenment, not to mention spaghetti. But in whose image would the radical Republicans remake us? Certainly not in the image of the Founding Fathers. The Republicans are already seeking to make Swiss cheese out of Mr. Madison’s masterpiece, littering the Constitution with amendments on budgeting, the line-item veto, gay marriage, abortion, school prayer, restricting birth-right citizenship, and more.

    Seems to me the GOP seeks a banana republic: a toxic blend of right-wing populism, anti-intellectualism, debt defaults, and an end to the ladder of economic opportunity. They would divide us into a few Haves and a lot of Have-Nots. And they would slowly crush the heart of progressive America—the rising middle class created by Democratic economic policies of education and empowerment. All while preserving, protecting, and defending a tiny oligarchy of millionaires and billionaires.

    The right wing should ditch the tricorn hats and replace them with mirrored sunglasses. They truly are Banana Republicans.

  10. The GOP needs to be reminded that the Debt Ceiling and the Budget are 2 separate issues. The debt incurred in the past–as much if not more by Republicans than Democrats–must be paid. The budget is just how much farther into debt or how much out of debt we are to become in the future. They are not one in the same, but listening to the GOP would make some think they are.

    • The GOP seems to believe in the phrase: If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.

      Remember how long it’s been since anyone except a democrat (Clinton) accomplished a balanced budget? The GOP is ignorant of far more than just the vernacular associated with things economical.

  11. What really sickens me about this whole mess is that the Dems–including the President–are giving in to the GOP b.s. Are they trying to work with these idiots? Because it hasn’t helped in the recent past, and I sure don’t see it doing anything except making the GOP smirk wider.

    Hodling the country hostage is not an heroic manueuver. Maybe someone should tell the TPers and the GOP to stop acting like 2-year-olds who will get their way, no matter what. Just where are the parents in this situation? Or even grown-ups?

  12. Zippy

    Kathleen Parker should be deeply ashamed — she and other servants of the powerful could have-and should have–seen this coming. And the fact is all the Tea Party did was put in a place a well-funded astroturf revolution to keep a real one from happening.

    A nice trick–steal all the money, then go “hey! the (usual suspects) stole all our money!”

    But to do this, they needed plenty of empty-headed stooges and, unfortunately, this is what we have now.

    And perhaps worse: any eventual deal will continue to tank the economy, and supply-side privatizatiion will contniue.

  13. WTF?
    There is, it appears, an emerging sense of panic developing on the cable news circuit over the state of a deal on the nation’s debt ceiling. On Fox News Saturday afternoon, Patricia Powell, founder and CEO of Powell Financial Group, advised viewers that they would be wise to have $1,000 in cash on hand if Congress were unable to come to a deal.

    “Everybody needs a cash reserve and I’m talking … seriously about cash, cash dollars in your wallet — not just maybe money in the bank, but you also want money in the bank and not just in the money market fund,” said Powell. “None of us know, if they … choose to default, whether there is going to be a credit crunch, whether you might have some trouble accessing some of your credit, and you might even have some trouble with your money market funds. So none of us know. Make sure you have cash.”

    “How much are you talking about?” asked the Fox host.

    “For most of us, if we had $1000 in bills, in our drawer, we would be fine,” said Powell. “I don’t expect that you’re going to need them, but you know what? If you need them, it would be nice to have.”

    It should be noted that there are a number of steps that banks take to avoid runs on their cash, including temporarily suspending withdrawals.

    — Sam Stein

    Someone obviously believes that everyone has $1000 just sitting around the house or in the bank. For many people at the end of the month, which is where we are, there is nothing. And there may not be anything there for a few days after the first of the month, and then only two weeks worth of wages, if that.

    And just what would the banks do if we all took out a grand? Yeah, there are measures in effect that will stop a run on the banks. But it definitely looks to me like these IDIOTS are trying to put people in a panic! DAMN THEM!

  14. Zippy

    The simple fact is, notwithstanding the extortion of Standard and Poor’s –which as Moody’s rating agency hastened to point out, is a different rating agency, and far more culpable in the AAA rating of shit bundled-mortgage securities–the crisis–which can in fact put the world into a Depression, if the US defaults–could be stopped simply by two agreements–(1) a clean bill that says, “raise the debt ceiling”–pay the bills we’ve already incurred–and (2) an agreement to keep negotiating.

    The argument, is as before, an argument about progressive taxation. But, thanks to Obama, that argument—even if it can’t win the day right now–is not even on the table.

    It’s not Marx of Lenin, it’s not even FDR’s four freedoms. The debate has become so distorted even Teddy Roosevelt would be considered a Bolshevik. The top marginal rate was raised to–what?–69 percent?–under Wilson, due largely to the influence of John McCain’s stated hero.

    No one is even suggesting anything close. The Bowles-Simpson travesty is being touted as a sane middle ground. Ugh

    I am a realist about the 60-vote, 216 (216?? — vacancies??) thing. Something ugly willl eventually have to pass (though there is nothing that mandates it be done on the Republican party’s home turf).

    But I grow weary of a debate, in today’s tabloid media, where the drama of people’s everyday lives is only infotainment, and the actual budget facts–such as posted above—can’t compete with the talking heads.

    I saw James Carville licking his chops about 2012. Well, he’s right–duh–but screw him. The view that democracy begins-and-ends with elections must be put to death.

    And, yes, the “go team!” attitude is something I’ve never liked. But ideas matter, and facts matter, and sometimes one side is simply wrong.