Wednesday, 4/4/12, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

73 responses to “Wednesday, 4/4/12, Public Square

  1. Where Ryan’s and Obama’s budgets (mostly) agree

    I love covering budgets. Budgets are where politicians have to be clear about their visions. They have to make the numbers add up, which means they have to be (relatively) honest about their choices. That exercise can reveal surprising truths.

    You would never know from the rhetoric in President Obama’s budget speech that there are broad swaths of government policy on which he and Paul Ryan mostly agree. But if you look at their budgets, there’s actually a surprising amount of convergence: Neither man’s budget makes any changes to Social Security. Both budgets are content to find their savings elsewhere. Another: Both men have proposed capping Medicare’s rate of growth at GDP+.5% (that is to say, Medicare’s budget could grow by however fast the economy grew, plus half a percentage point. So if the economy grew by 3%, Medicare’s budget could increase by 3.5%). They would hold Medicare to that growth rate in different ways, but, over the past year, they have actually converged on how much spending is appropriate in Medicare.

    That’s a change from past years. Ryan’s 2010 Roadmap included major reforms to Social Security, including private accounts. His previous budget featured much more dramatic reforms to Medicare, including a much lower growth rate. But Ryan has backed off of his cuts to seniors. It is, after all, an election year.

    Today, the difference in the two party’s visions is really in their plans for everything else: Ryan’s budget increases defense spending, cuts taxes on the rich, and pays for all that — and for his deficit reduction — with deep cuts to programs for the poor and to the basic services the federal government carries out. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that 62 percent of Ryan’s cuts are to programs for the poor. (Graph.)

    Obama’s budget, meanwhile, features large tax increases on the rich, some cuts to the defense budget, some cuts to government services, and relatively few cuts to programs for the poor. Consequently, his budget has somewhat less deficit reduction than Ryan does over the next 10 years.

    Obama said much of this in his speech. He accurately explained where Ryan’s cuts fall. He admitted that he intends to raise taxes on wealthier Americans. He clearly believes the voters will prefer his approach. And Ryan didn’t contest any of it. He didn’t say his budget doesn’t focus its cuts on programs for the poor, or non-defense discretionary spending. His statement, which you can read in full here, lamented Obama’s “empty promises” and efforts to “divide Americans.” But it didn’t argue that the president got Ryan’s numbers wrong. And that’s because he didn’t: The numbers are there for everyone to see. The same goes for Obama’s budget, which Republicans have often blasted for raising taxes on the rich and doing too little on the deficit.

    And that’s why I love budget season. The two parties have laid out their visions, in detail, in ways we can check, and are now arguing over them. That’s what the election should be about.

    • It goes without saying that the republican budget increases the wealth gap and strengthens the oligarchy (where government functions to meet the needs of an economic elite). That alone destroys America.

      The republicans plan to extend the Bush tax cuts that are to expire at the end of this year. I know President Obama and the democrats want to extend only those for the more vulnerable, the ones who haven’t yet recovered from Bush’s Great Recession, but I haven’t heard much said about those tax cuts recently.

      Has anyone else heard talk of those tax cuts?

      • prairie pond

        I haven’t heard any talk about the bushco tax cuts lately, but I bet the obama administration will use them as a bargaining chip in any horse trading that goes on. I doubt anyone will take them up until there is another government shut-down threat after the election.

        It would be a good thing to remember that “elections have consequences” as the saying goes. This election is crucial, given the potential SCOTUS appointments, and if there is any hope to stop the war on women noted in the header graphic. And lgbt people will just have to leave the country if the repukes control the White House and even one branch of congress.

        I suppose people say this in every election, but I can’t help but think the end game for America hangs in the balance of this election.

      • indypendent

        The Bush tax cuts expire at the end of 2012 – don’t they? I guess it depends on who wins the election. And I don’t mean just the White House – I mean the Congressional races also.

        This is where the power of the purse strings really come to play – it is the Congress.

        I don’t think it is any coincidence that the current approval of Congress is at an all-time low SINCE the Teapublicans have taken over the House.

        Which, tells me, that around 90% of the Americans do NOT like what the Teapublicans are trying to sell with that damn tea….

  2. Happy birthday, Indy! May your special day be everything that makes you happiest !

    • prairie pond

      Aint it the truth. Of course, all those pious repuke men actually believe women should die for having sex that results in unplanned pregnancy.

      They believe the women should die right after having sex with THEM! ‘Cause ya know, if they can’t own the woman, no one else should “have” her either.

      • indypendent

        Ain’t it the truth….. And what is worse is that alot of this nonsense crap comes right from those damn churches – you know, where the man is the Master and his wife is to be submissive? Slave have a master…….so I guess these religious repukes consider women as slaves?

        But, never fear, Romney has a plan to get the women’s vote – he is going to create jobs.

        Yeah, right, Mittens, you keep going with that empty promise

      • indypendent

        The GOP is counting on women forgetting all about birth control issue.

        But, wait a minute, there was that Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke names and before that – it was the Susan G. Komen defunding Planned Parenthood – and before that was the Virginia anti-abortion bill that mandated (I thought all Republicans hated mandates?) transvaginal probe – and before that it was………. the list of anti-women goes on on and on and on..

        So, I don’t think the economy and creating jobs is going to #1 on the minds of the majority of women in November 2012.

        As, as this article says, there are MORE women voters than men – so looks like the elephants had better pack up their trunks with something else to shoot – because their wads they are shooting now – are just NOT flying with the women voters.

      • indypendent

        Gov Nikii Haley of South Carolina did Romney no favors on the campaign trail today – as she also tried to say that women do not care contraception. But, rather, they care about the economy and jobs.

        Earth to Republicans – you take away birth control, there will be more babies, and as we can check from the GOP’s record of job creation – there will be NO jobs to work to help pay for those babies.

        SO – Nikki, my dear, birth control is a BFD.

        And – didn’t you just love the way this dutiful little Republican woman followed the GOP talking points as to Republicans don’t want the government to tell them when they can have birth control?

        Let’s see – a government mandated transvaginal probe or a mandated sonogram is okay but havign access to birth control is a government mandate that is unconstitutional?

        Give us all a frickin break…….. Republicans expect women to be stupid because that is how these folks have treated women for years.

        If 2010 was the year of the Tea Party and the Angry White Man – just wait till you get a load of 2012 election – is is about the WOMEN.

      • I agree! They seem to be counting on women forgetting. Once they get rid of Santorum it will be easier to control the republican message.

        Be we’re not forgetting! We have daughters and granddaughters. We know the only way they can have equality is to have control of their reproductive choices. We are not an economic, social, or political underclass!

        Besides, someone needs to tell Nikii Haley of South Carolina that women can easily concentrate on the economy, jobs, and women’s choice, along with a host of other issues. She must spend too much time with women unable to think for themselves — women of her party who take marching orders from men.

      • prairie pond

        Nikki Haley is an asshat of the highest order! I happened to be watching The View yesterday when she said “women don’t care about contraception.” I was so stunned, I thought perhaps I had misunderstood. From the looks on the faces of Whoopi and Joy, they were as stunned as I was. Haley’s freakin’ lucky they went to break before Whoopi broke her dumb ass. Joy did a remarkable job of restraint, said women DO care about contraception, and then threw them to the commercial.

      • prairie pond

        “If 2010 was the year of the Tea Party and the Angry White Man – just wait till you get a load of 2012 election – is is about the WOMEN.”

        Remember a while back, and this was before the crap really hit the fan, I posted someone else’s words that this would be the year of the “waitress mom.”

        Looks like it’s going to be better than that and be the year of ALL women!

        Hear us roar…

  3. Speaking of jobs —

  4. indypendent

    Here’s an interesting twist – how does one say that the Christian fish symbol is unacceptable – I guess when it is colored like the Rainbow and a statement that Jesus is not a homophobe is attached.

    But……….I wonder how many t-shirts are allowed that have the Christian fish symbol on it? Or how many cars in that public school parking lot has that symbol on it?

    If Christians really want freedom to express their religion – then that same right needs to be given to everyone else.

  5. A message to the Teapublicans:

    You didn’t get mad when we spent over 800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.

    You didn’t get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.

    You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq.

    You didn’t get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.

    You didn’t get mad when they didn’t catch Bin Laden.

    You didn’t get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.

    You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

    You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.

    You didn’t get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend, the 1%, over a trillion dollars in tax breaks.

    You didn’t get mad with the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades.

    You didn’t get mad when over 200,000 US Citizens lost their lives because they had no health insurance.

    You didn’t get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US Citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home values in the Wall Street crash.

    You finally got mad when a black man was elected President, and decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, job losses by the millions, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, and the worst economic disaster since 1929 are all okay with you, but helping fellow Americans who are sick… Oh, Hell No!

    You’re not going to take ME back, without a fight.

  6. indypendent

    Remember the bombing at the Wisconsin Planned Parenthood Clinic recently. A 50-yr old male has been arrested and will be arraigned today.

    Anyone out there willing to make a bet with me that this guy is white, Republican and Evangelical Christian?

    Aw come one – people – I need to make some money today. The baby needs new shoes…….LOL

    • He’s a nutjob for sure. Damaging property and putting lives in danger aren’t activities of people who are sane.

      • indypendent

        Religious zealots are the same – in my opinion. I don’t care if you’re flying a plane into a tower or if you’re planting a bomb in some clinic.

        A terrorist is a terrorist – and should be prosecuted as such.

  7. indypendent

    Since the Catholic Church is such a huge global corproration, why don’t these holy (?) men focus their wealth and power on trying to solve the real problems of the world like this human trafficking, poverty, hunger and other problems?

    No – instead – this group of holy (?) men choose to rant and fight over whether American women have access to birth control?

    Seriously, dudes, priotritize – would you? I suspect that Jesus would be out there trying to fight that human trafficking for labor and sex slaves..

  8. indypendent

    Speakding of Republicans treating women as if we are all stupid – did anyone watch Sarah Palin on NBC The Today Show yesterday morning?

    What a publicity stunt – since Katie Couric was on the other network’s morning show – some looney-gooney got the bright idea to bring on Sarah Palin as some sort of beauty contest?

    Palin and the Palinettes will never admit that it was her name on the ticket that drove alot of women (and intelligent men) away from the GOP in 2008.

    So, wouldn’t you think that a lesson would have been learned from 2008? Just because a woman is on th ticket – does NOT mean that all women will vote for her.

    Most women are smarter than that…….

    • indypendent

      Hey – and 2008 was BEFORE all this nonsense since the 2010 Teapublicans got into power and have done nothing but anti-women legislation – with anti-workers legislation throw in there.

  9. indypendent

    If my birthday wish comes true – when the Republicans lose big come November – all the religious zealots and partisan hackers get a one-way ticket to that moon colony that Newt wants to build.

    Hell – we can surely build a catapult (sp?) big enough to shoot these folks towards the moon – couldn’t we?

    And if they don’t make it that far – then hopefully they will land in a desert in Iran.

    Wow – now that would definitely be a good wish come true……

  10. prairie pond

    Ok, so I get that I was probably the only regular here watching the Women’s National Championship basketball game last night. But in case you didn’t know, Brittany Griner led the Baylor Bears to a 40-0 championship, a feat never before accomplished in women’s or men’s roundball.

    Brittany, at 6-8, may be the greatest woman baller of all time. She wears men’s size 17 shoes, has such a deep voice that every time I hear her I think it’s a man speaking, and she’s as flat chested as my friend with a double mastectomy.

    Yet, she’s all woman. Always has been, always will be. She’s a good kid, quick to deflect credit to her teammates and coach and she’s not afraid to dish the ball rather than shoot. She’s the kind of woman we’d all want as our daughter.

    And yet…

    She is the constant target of nasty comments about her gender, her sexuality, and whether or not she should even be allowed to play the women’s game. Even the usually classy Muffett McGraw, the Notre Dame coach on the loosing end of last night’s game, said “she’s like a man playing with women.” She later apologized and said she meant that as a compliment, and Brittany took no offense.

    Muffett’s comments set off a firestorm. Why oh why can’t a successful woman be noted for her achievements without being called “mannish?” Why do people stoop so low to insult a really fine woman, still almost a girl, by questioning something so personal as her gender? She takes in all in stride with class one would expect of someone older. I think that has to do with some great coaching from Kim Mulkey and support from her parents.

    But, WHY can’t people just admire her without the insults? In this case, I quote the You Tube guy who said “LEAVE BRITTANY ALONE!” Even if it was a different Brittany.

    To Ms. Griner, I can only say “you go, girl!”

    • indypendent

      I agree ….. I don’t follow basketball of any sort – college or professional – but I do listen to NPR alot. This game was being discussed and when Brittany spoke, I almost thought it was one of the male panelists. But it did not make me wonder about her gender or whether she was mannish or what she looks like – it only took me back for a moment.

      But, then again, I am a big time fan of the old The Bob Newhart Show – remember Suzanne Pleshette’s deep voice?

      So, it’s not like we haven’t had females with deep voices before – but we sure do seem to stereotype – don’t we?

      I was more impressed with how Brittany’s abilties were being discussed – it sounds like she is once fierce basketball player.

      And, obviously, she is – because her team accomplished a goal NEVER before accomplished.

      WAy to go……and I am even a basketball fan……

  11. R.D. Liebst

    Romne is the one I think will get the nod, he of all of them is vanila enough to get enough and to be the GOP candidate. I do not think he could beat the President, that would take someone that has the appeal of a super star which Mitt is not there. Things would have to get as bad the GOP candiates are painting them before any stand a chance of winning in the general.

    • indypendent

      Wall Street Journal seems to downplay the issue of birth control as being key to the women’s vote in 2012.

      But, then again, when has WSJ ever been an Obama fan?

    • prairie pond

      Hey Dude! Glad to see you here.

      Yeah, Romney is “vanilla” all right. Mr. Etch a Sketch. Watch him morph after the primaries.

      I don’t think we can be complacent about this election. The repukes have a way with those electronic voting machines, and.. well.. you know how I feel about never underestimating the total stupidity of the American voter.

      Shrub, anyone? It could happen again with the same SCOTUS majority in place.

      • No matter how well Romney shakes that EtchASketch he will never be Mr. Excitement, and the flips and flops he has to make are going to be laughable. He begins with the knowledge that he is a flip-flopper and it gets worse from there.

        He wrote the campaign ads during the primaries. Every word he said is available on tape — not someone’s interpretation but him saying the words in context.

      • indypendent

        I think the Romney strategy is put his wife Ann out on the campaign trail more. I hear, from Republicans, that she is a dynamite #1 fan of her husband and she relates so well to women.


      • Republicans don’t seem to know much about women. At least not the women who think for themselves. That’s OK! They’re about to pay for that lack of knowledge and the lack of respect offered to women! Election 2012 is going to be decided by women, by minorities, by democrats! The fire has been lit, it will not go out! If the Roberts court overrules Obamacare that will be like throwing gasoline on a fire that is already big!

      • indypendent


        BTW – what would I possibly have in common with a women who obviously feels the need to have an elevator installed in their house for their many cars?


  12. prairie pond

    Ok, I’m on it today about women.

    There’s all kinds of ways to interpret this story about a woman willing to have sex with someone for the price of two dollar menu cheese burgers. Maybe she’s a lost cause. Maybe she’s just given up. Maybe she’s just damn hungry and no where to turn. I did notice she’s 47. The first thing I thought of when I read her age was what the character Nola Johns said in the movie Broken Trail. ( It’s just about my favorite movie.) Nola was forced into prostitution after her husband died and she had no way to support herself in the rough world of mining camps. It’s a lesson for all women as we age and our value to society diminishes.

    “Time is against you.
    Yeah, there’s nothing more unforgiving than time.
    You start out in the parlor houses.
    Soon you’re in the rooming house at the end of town.
    Next are the cribs down the line.
    And then it’s the hog ranch.
    It’s the last rung.
    I’m more than halfway down that ladder toward the hog ranch
    – and that’s the truth of it. – Yeah.” — Nola Johhs

    This poor Florida woman is also “more than halfway down that ladder.” Goddess help her. I hope someone takes pity on her and gives her a hand up.

    • indypendent

      I’ve often wondered about the prostitute’s lot in life. Why do we as a society punish the prostitute but never the john that pays her?

      Does it all go back to that damn silly theory that Eve made Adam sin by offering him that damn apple?

      Seriously, is it all about that? Hasn’t the thought ever occurred to anyone that Adam COULD have said NO to Eve? Or was that first evidence of Adam thinking with his ‘little brain’.

      • indypendent

        But, on second thought, this two double cheeseburger deal does sound like the current Republicans’ budget.

        They ‘pretend’ it will only cost taxpayers $2.75 but in the end – it will cost $40 more in the Elephants 1% tip.

        TAxpaeyrs have gotten screwed by Bush for 8 years and if Romney gets in (especially with paul Ryan as his VP) – taxpayers will get screwed again – and it is going to cost us more than a $40 tip.

      • prairie pond

        That’s a good one, Indy. That $40 tip could get expensive.

        What’s the old joke? The salty crackers are free but a cup of water is $100.

        Oof. I sound like a repuke saying that, don’t I?

      • indypendent

        If you’re a fan of Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey in their roles on Wayne’s World – remember their movie in their Pacer car next to the limosine and they say ‘can you pass the Gray Poupon?

        Seriously, folks, it is gonna get that bad………if Romney and his Raiders get control of more power and more wealth…

      • indypendent

        I prefer Daphne’s version on ‘Frasier’ when she was telling Niles and/or Fraiser that they would eat anything if it had a fancy French name attached to it.

        Yeah – pompous asses with way too much money always seem to think they are above the peasants.

        Wasn’t it Leona Helmsley that said something to the effect that only peasants pay taxes.

        But, at least to give Leona Helmsley credit – she did not have the nerve (or the two faces) to go out and campaign and talk about they want to restore America to her once true greatness and how the American Dream is still there to grasp.

        Yeah – sure – as long as the US taxpayers are there to bail out their French-crap-eating butts when they run their companies to the ground.

        At least Leona did not pretend to care about the peasants – she was just out and out with her disgust for the ‘lowly’ people.

      • indypendent

        BTW – didn’t Romney get nailed by Santorum or Newt for speaking French?

        isn’t that – marvelous???

        I laughed outloud yesterday when Obama was talking about Romney’s praise of the Paul Ryan budget and Romney used the word marvelous. Obama said – that is a word you don’t hear very often.

        I heard there is a You Tube video put out by some group supporting Obama and mocking the use of the word – marvelous.

        I agree – Rick – the GOP nominee will be Romney and I just wonder which Romney will show up at the numerous campaign events?

        There’s been so many of them…….

      • prairie pond

        Here’s Leona’s quote about paying taxes.

        “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.”

        Truer today than ever before!

      • indypendent

        Thanks for the actual quote for Helmley. But, as I said before, at least good ol’ Leona did not hide her disgust for the little people – it was out front and center for all the world to see.

    • I didn’t know about this young woman, Brittany Griner. Thank you for sharing. Yes, women always have to work harder, and the stereotypes we have to face add to our challenges. The aggressive man possesses a redeeming quality and those same attributes are all too often seen as negatives in females (bitch is one term directed at us for being aggressive).

      I’m tickled to hear how grounded this young woman sounds! It probably wasn’t easy growing up. Differences should be celebrated, but usually they’re ridiculed.

      • indypendent

        I think this is a testament to her upbringing – and that includes parents, extended family, friends and any other person that was in her community as she was growing up.

        This is where the Republicans get it wrong – IMHO. It takes more than just a married hetrerosexual couple to raise kids into productive adults.

        It does take a village…… takes the entire group to care about those around us in order to keep the entire group prospering and growing.

      • indypendent

        In fact, I don’t think it takes a married couple – either heterosexual or homosexual – to raise kids. It just takes alot of unconditional love.

        There’s not too much of that in the Grand Old Party these days – IMHO

  13. prairie pond

    “It does take a village…… takes the entire group to care about those around us in order to keep the entire group prospering and growing.”

    And it takes money. It’s just an outrage that we have hungry children in America. I don’t care how bad the parents are. No child should go to bed hungry. Or without healthcare. Or without a bath and a warm and safe place to sleep. In clean jammies. Preferably with a teddy bear.

    And a hug. Did I mention no child should go to bed without a hug?

    Ok, you found me out. I’m a big ol’ softie! Hell, even Summer goes to bed with her blankie.

    • indypendent

      Every human being needs just the basic things – food, shelter, love and to feel secure. And I was one of the lucky ones – I’ve never known what it is like to be really poor.

      WE were middle class while I was growing up. My husband and I have both worked hard to be middle class. Even then, I was lucky enough to stay at home with my kids until they were in junior high – but nowadays, that is just not possible for most families.

      If you ever listen to Republicans – just listen to what they really talk about….it is always how much money THEY get to keep. How much money THEY pay out to leeches – yada, yada and more yada.

      Well – you know – there is more to life than just money – maybe these folks just don’t know the truth about what makes life worth living?

      All the money in the world cannot buy class, honesty or integrity.

      • indypendent

        Need to add one more thing money cannot buy – a compassionate heart

      • We were never hungry (unless it was meal time). We were poor but didn’t know it. Most people we knew were poor. There were seven kids and our needs were all the folks could provide. Needs were different than what we would consider them to be today. We didn’t go to the doctor or dentist unless we needed to — kinda like today for all the people without insurance. We got a new pair of shoes once a year right before school started. If any shoes could be, they were handed down. We got jobs as soon as we could — babysitting at 10 or 11 years old for neighbors, working at the drug store or dime store as soon as the law allowed.

        You all know what I’m talking about — it was life. You worked for everything. I think it helped all of us.

        I need to add here that there was always work available! Always work for everyone willing to work. At least that’s the way I remember it.

        Today is different! Today if you have a college degree, a 401K, reliable transportation, a roof over your head — things too many of us take for granted, you have it made in the shade compared to many, many people. And I think it’s harder to be poor today than it was back in the 50s and 60s… I’m not sure there is always work available, and certainly not work that pays a livable wage.

        Were there homeless people when we were growing up? Honestly, if there were I didn’t know it. Did people not have shelter, not know where their next meal was coming from? Did I live such a sheltered life I didn’t know about these people? Have I romanticized the past? Maybe so. I was a kid. I didn’t become an adult until mid 60s. We lived through lean years, but again we had what we needed and didn’t expect much more.

      • indypendent

        fnord – I think what you’re talking about is people learning to be content with what they have in life..

        I think that is one thing I find lacking in today’s society – how to be content with what we have.

        For some reason, there are Republicans who hate the idea of someone getting something that they are not getting – and alot of times it is not because they need that something, they jsut don’t want the ‘other guy’ to get it.

        There’s something wrong with that ideaology – to my way of thinking.

  14. I’m looking for the YouTube that plays on Romney’s ‘marvelous’ description of the Ryan/Republican budget. Is this it?

    • indypendent

      I think this is the one – I only saw a clip on some MSNBC show today. Thanks for finding this. I tried to look for it but got interrupted by an 18-month-old grandson that decided to wake up from his nap..

  15. Romney just said, “What women care about, is getting their kids to school and soccer practice.”

    He does indeed have a few things to learn about women, and he doesn’t have to wait past this fall to have his lesson delivered. Whether he is smart enough to recognize it is another story.

    • indypendent

      School and soccer practice? ARe these the same ‘soccer moms’ George W. Bush bamboozled to get elected?

      BTW – doesn’t soccer cost money to participate? Last time I checked – women are too busy trying to stretch the paycheck that keeps getting smaller to feed the kids – let alone pay for soccer.

      Obvioiusly, Romney and I must not run in the same social circle.

  16. McCain thinks Romney should choose Palin as his running mate for VP.