Saturday, February 28, 2009
OMB director Peter Orszag gives a video overview, explaining that the one of the reasons the budget is so large, is because the Obama administration has not engaged in accounting tricks that hide the real financial cost of warfare (as was done during the Bush administration).
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is an author as well as politician. His spiritual views lean toward the esoteric.
New Oxford Review, a journal for Catholic fundamentalists, excerpts Jindal's piece entitled: "Beating a Demon: Physical Manifestations of Spiritual Warfare." (The image above is from the actual piece.)
Though the piece is not available in its entirety online, I assume this is where Jindal references witnessing an exorcism.
Does anyone else see the irony in the Governor from Louisiana writing about his knowledge of demonic possession?
Haunted Mansion, anyone?
Obviously, this is satire. But that sad thing is that there are really people out there who believe this stuff.
But let's entertain their dark fantasy for a moment and say that Obama is diabolical, wants to enslave the white race, and take away our democratic freedoms.
Unless he abolishes Congress and establishes himself Lord High Commander of the United States, do you think that he would get enough votes to pull off his evil plan?
I guess he has enough powers to brainwash the Democratic Congress just as he has the American people. All he has to do is stare deeply into their eyes to make him do his bidding.
Now, if you do think that Obama is the Anti-Christ or Hitler, there's nothing in the rational world that can convince you otherwise. And as a matter of fact, you'll watch this video and read this post and see it as even more evidence that your deepest fears have come true.
Have fun scaring yourself.
From New York Times:
...leaving aside the chutzpah of casting the failure of his own party’s governance as proof that government can’t work, does [Jindal] really think that the response to natural disasters like Katrina is best undertaken by uncoordinated private action? Hey, why bother having an army? Let’s just rely on self-defense by armed citizens.Anyone who has the unfortunate task of being a blogger and responding to conservative comments knows how wretched the experience can be. Conservative sites like this one and conservative comments like these on social networking sites run from the illogical, paranoid, outright racist, and downright scary.
The intellectual incoherence is stunning. Basically, the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead.
It's cloud cuckoo-land out there folks.
My analogy is that confronting the conservative blogosphere is like battling orcs in Lord of the Rings. They're dumb as bricks. But there are just so many of them. And they keep coming and coming. They're unrelenting and vicious, with a certain primitive instinct that lets them survive over time.
We will win because we can outwit them. But before you reach complete and total victory, it's an ugly, bloody process.
I know that there are intelligent Republicans who don't pander to the lowest common denominator, and who are dismayed by the devolution of their party.
I feel their pain. A two-party system is healthy and vital.
But when one party has depended on political victory by pandering to racists, whackadoodles, and conspiracy theorists, it's time for an overhaul of that party.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
This time in Orange County, California.
Los Alamitos mayor Dean Grose sent out an email to friends and business associates portraying the White House lawn as a watermelon patch with the heading "No Easter Egg hunt this year." I don't know what political party Grose is, but I assume Republican as he was endorsed by the Orange County Republican Party. And Orange County is a Republican stronghold in Southern California.
Here's the image:
One of the recipients of the email was Keyanus Price, an African American local businesswoman, who was understandably shocked -- at both the content and that she received it from the mayor of the city.
When confronted by Price, Mayor Grose apologized for his lack of judgment.
Read the entire story here.
For those of you who didn't know, Bobby Jindal has a strong belief in exorcism.
He is actually seen as somewhat of an expert on the subject and has written a piece for fundamentalist Catholic journal New Oxford Review about demon possession and how to fight them.
Following is his account of witnessing the spiritual ritual.
The crucifix had a calming effect on Susan, and her sister was soon brave enough to bring a Bible to her face. At first, Susan responded to biblical passages with curses and profanities. Mixed in with her vile attacks were short and desperate pleas for help. In the same breath that she attacked Christ, the Bible's authenticity, and everyone assembled in prayer, Susan would suddenly urge us to rescue her. It appeared as if we were observing a tremendous battle between the Susan we knew and loved and some strange evil force. But the momentum had shifted and we now sensed that victory was at hand.Read more here
While Alice and Louise held Susan, her sister continued holding the Bible to her face. Almost taunting the evil spirit that had almost beaten us minutes before, the students dared Susan to read biblical passages. She choked on certain passages and could not finish the sentence "Jesus is Lord." Over and over, she repeated "Jesus is L..L..LL," often ending in profanities. In between her futile attempts, Susan pleaded with us to continue trying and often smiled between the grimaces that accompanied her readings of Scripture. Just as suddenly as she went into the trance, Susan suddenly reappeared and claimed "Jesus is Lord."
UPDATE: It was Chris Matthews who said "Oh God," and he explains why here.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
YES WE CAN!
So long to any hopes of a presidential bid.
This man was touting Louisiana like it's the gold standard of states. I'll pass, thanks.
This is a state that is losing more than 430 jobs a day!
And for Jindal to stand there and say we need less government when New Orleans could have used more help from our federal government during Hurricane Katrina boggles the mind.
Monday, February 23, 2009
The Jindal administration is estimating that Louisiana will have to spend $336 million to buy land that the Army Corps of Engineers needs to build levees and floodgates on to protect the New Orleans area.Read more here
This is the same state with a Governor who is claiming that he will turn down stimulus unemployment benefits.
Also, if you're interested, here is a list of some of the shovel-ready projects waiting for stimulus funds from the town of Ruston, Louisiana.
They include a number of scary "Socialist" projects like "an extension to Martin Luther King Drive, an extension to Willow Glen Drive and a water tank on Memorial Drive." *shudder*
Seriously, are Louisiana and its people really in a position where the state can afford to turn down money?
Former Governor Mitt Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC today sent $1,000 checks to a group of House Republicans targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) for their votes against the wasteful $800 billion stimulus bill.Read more here
Don't you think it seems a little odd to reward politicians financially for withholding funds from their constituents?
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I call this political theater. Gotta love the drama!
And not to worry about those funds going to waste. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says he'll gladly take any money that other GOP govs don't want.
UPDATE: Click here to watch Arnold on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos. The California GOP gov said the stimulus package is "terrific."
Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, who goes by the nom de guerre Dr Fadl, helped bin Laden create al-Qaeda and then led an Islamist insurgency in Egypt in the 1990s.Read more here
But in a book written from inside an Egyptian prison, he has launched a frontal attack on al-Qaeda's ideology and the personal failings of bin Laden and particularly his Egyptian deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Twenty years ago, Dr Fadl became al-Qaeda's intellectual figurehead with a crucial book setting out the rationale for global jihad against the West.
Today, however, he believes the murder of innocent people is both contrary to Islam and a strategic error. "Every drop of blood that was shed or is being shed in Afghanistan and Iraq is the responsibility of bin Laden and Zawahiri and their followers," writes Dr Fadl.
From AFP News
Hillary Clinton urged China on Sunday to continue buying US Treasuries, saying it would help get the American economy moving again and stimulate imports of Chinese goods.
"By continuing to support American Treasury instruments the Chinese are recognising our interconnection. We are truly going to rise or fall together," Clinton said at the US embassy shortly before leaving Beijing.
Clinton, wrapping up her first overseas trip as secretary of state, said continued Chinese purchases of treasuries were essential to financing the massive 787 billion dollar US stimulus plan.
BEIJING (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton strolled past open-air sewers in Jakarta, talked robots over tea in Tokyo with the empress of Japan and met women students in Seoul, one of whom asked how she knew her husband "would be your love."Read more here
"You know, I feel more like an advice columnist than a secretary of state today," a bemused Clinton replied.
Making her first trip as the United States' top diplomat, Clinton made one thing abundantly clear during a week-long tour of Asian capitals: she is no ordinary secretary of state.
A crowd of some 2,000 Korean women at Ewha Womans University listened to her speak with rapt attention, and then peppered her with questions such as:
Read more here
How does a woman balance marriage and work?
How does she deal with disappointment?
How did she know Bill Clinton was the one for her?
How much does she love Chelsea?
How would she define love?
A video clip of Ms. Clinton being welcomed in Indonesia:
And here, Ms. Clinton charms the audience on Indonesian MTV show "Awesome!"
Friday, February 20, 2009
From Associated Press:
BATON ROUGE, La. – A handful of Republican governors are considering turning down some money from the federalRead more , a move opponents say puts conservative ideology ahead of the needs of constituents struggling with record foreclosures and soaring unemployment.here
All I have to say is.. yeah, right. This is political theater, folks. If any GOP gov wishes to commit political suicide by rejecting the federal money, I will gladly give them a hand.
All that is going on is the appearances game. Some of them will make a fuss about not taking funds with "strings attached." They might even reject some relatively small project just to show that they're "serious."
But at the end of the day, they will take the money. It's just grandstanding.
According to a 2004 study by the Tax Foundation:
...Of the 32 states (and the District of Columbia) that are "winners" -- receiving more in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes -- 76% are Red States that voted for George Bush in 2000. Indeed, 17 of the 20 (85%) states receiving the most federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid are Red States. Here are the Top 10 states that feed at the federal trough (with Red States highlighted in bold):
States Receiving Most in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:The states that receive less federal money per dollar of taxes? (i.e., the ones providing the money for those red states... are, you guessed it... blue states!)1. D.C. ($6.17)
2. North Dakota ($2.03)
3. New Mexico ($1.89)
4. Mississippi ($1.84)
5. Alaska ($1.82)
6. West Virginia ($1.74)
7. Montana ($1.64)
8. Alabama ($1.61)
9. South Dakota ($1.59)
10. Arkansas ($1.53)
So let the GOP hypocrites rant and rave. Not to worry. They will take the money, and they will take it gladly.
States Receiving Least in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:1. New Jersey ($0.62)
2. Connecticut ($0.64)
3. New Hampshire ($0.68)
4. Nevada ($0.73)
5. Illinois ($0.77)
6. Minnesota ($0.77)
7. Colorado ($0.79)
8. Massachusetts ($0.79)
9. California ($0.81)
10. New York ($0.81)
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
From his commentary on CNN:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina took umbrage at my writing that his approach to the economic crisis is to do nothing. I'll deal with his "ideas" in a moment, but first let me make a modest proposal:Read more here.
If Republican politicians are so deeply opposed to President Obama's economic recovery plan, they should refuse to take the money. After all, if you think all that federal spending is damaging, there are easy ways to reduce it: Don't take federal money.
Gov. Sanford can lead the way. South Carolina should decline to accept any federal funds for transportation, education, health care, clean energy or any of the other ideas President Obama is advocating to fix the economy. And the rest of the GOP can follow suit.
I became so frustrated with GOP obstructionism that I created a petition daring them to refuse the federal money they voted against.
Send a rhetorical message to the Great Obstructionist Party and sign the petition.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Johns Hopkins researchers estimate $166 billion in infrastructure projects delayed nationwide.
Like state and local governments and private businesses, America’s 1.4 million nonprofit organizations have many major “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects on hold because of the credit crisis, according to a new survey by the Johns Hopkins University Nonprofit Listening Post Project. For a country eager to promote employment, these projects offer an inviting target.
Nonprofits always struggle to generate investment capital due to their nonprofit status and their inability to access the equity markets, but the survey results show that the recession has compounded their woes: The 1,837 organizations surveyed identified 1,065 shovel-ready projects stalled by the inability to secure financing. A state-by-state listing of these projects is at http://www.jhu.edu/listeningpost/news
The organizations that participated in the survey differ widely in size, cover all regions, and represent a diverse array of fields, including children and family services, elderly services and housing, community development, arts and culture, and others. Based on survey results, the researchers estimate that even excluding hospitals and higher education, which were not covered in this survey, nonprofit organizations nationwide have over $166 billion worth of community infrastructure projects ready to go if funding were available.
“As Congress, the president, and state governments begin making concrete plans for allocating the economic recovery funds recently enacted by Congress, they would do well to consider the considerable backlog of worthy projects stalled at the country’s nonprofit organizations,” said Lester M. Salamon, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, which conducted this survey as part of its Listening Post Project.
“Nonprofit infrastructure projects have the double benefit of strengthening our communities and generating jobs—both of which are needed in this time of testing for our nation,” observed Peter Goldberg, president of the Alliance for Children and Families and chairman of the Listening Post Project Steering Committee.
Examples of projects delayed indefinitely by the credit crisis include the Southside Youth Center planned by the 25-year-old San Antonio Youth Centers to provide classrooms, a workforce training center, and a child development center to a deeply impoverished community; and the 105-year-old Family Service of Roanoke Valley’s plans to renovate a downtown facility to provide mental health services for children, families and older adults.
Other key findings of this survey include:
• More than 40 percent of the responding organizations reported that they had “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects, and 13 percent said they had more than one.
• Of these projects, 27 percent are for new construction projects and 73 percent are renovations or expansions;
• Typical examples of these projects, in addition to those cited above, include an employment training center in Louisville, a social enterprise and volunteer center in Michigan, the expansion and renovation of a children’s museum and art gallery in Florida, and a range of continuing care facilities, brownfield cleanup efforts, river restoration projects, and physical improvements to blighted neighborhoods.
• California and New York head the list of states with sizable amounts of estimated shovel-ready nonprofit infrastructure projects, but sizable amounts exist in virtually all states.
“Thanks to this eye-opening data, we now know about existing significant opportunities not just to stimulate employment but also to improve the social infrastructure of our communities,” said Tim Delaney, president and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits, a Listening Post Partner organization. “Let’s make sure nonprofit infrastructure projects are given as much consideration as roads, public buildings, and businesses in the uses made of economic recovery and bank bail-out funds.”
The full text of the report “’Shovel-Ready’ but Stalled: Nonprofit Infrastructure Projects Ready for Economic Recovery Support,” complete with state-by-state estimates, is available online at http://www.jhu.edu/listeningpost/news.
Monday, February 16, 2009
If they're so damned "principled," seems like they wouldn't want that dirty government money.
Click here to sign the No Stimulus Money for "NO" Votes petition.
Let's send a message to the Great Obstructionist Party and call their bluff and demand that they stand by their votes and suffer the political and economic consequences... and if they don't then they should STOP standing in the way of progress and let President Obama do what needs to be done to fix our country. Demand accountability. Why should Republican politicians ride on the coattails of an economic package they voted against?
In the New York Times, Frank Rich wrote about how the Republicans, with their "Party of No" tactics, are cutting off their nose to spite their face.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Read more here
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
And while I'm just an average American who is not educated about economic matters, the way Obama explained our current predicament made sense to me in a common-sense sort of way.
But the President was also firm in his resolve, projecting a tone of "enough is enough! Let's get this job done" One of the Republican pundits rightly called him "Papa Bear." Obama played the role of father of the country willing to do what was right to save it and he played it well.
When all was said and done, I left the experience feeling educated and filled with a sense of having a better understanding of the larger issues involved.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, on the other hand, I couldn't watch. He was tense with a furrowed brow. He projected a feeling of stress and anxiety. He spoke in rapid staccato, with an undertone of aggression.
Rather than feeling like things were being taken care of, I felt nervous, anxious and tense. While I felt engaged and drawn in with Obama's speech, I had to turn off the television when Geithner was on.
I understand where Rep. Waters is coming from politically, but in this instance I don't think that she is being clear or presenting the issues in the best light. Her questions were confusing. While I am not sympathetic to the plight of the banking CEOs, I felt the pain of the Bank of America official when he said, "I don't know what you're talking about."
I think Ms. Waters will get some pushback from the pundits over her performance today.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
2/9/09: Presidential Press Conference from White House on Vimeo.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
President Obama recorded a series of interviews about his economic recovery plan. Help is on the way, and you can help spread the word. Join thousands of people across the country who are organizing Economic Recovery House Meetings: http://my.barackobama.com/recoveryplan
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Click here to read the New York Times piece that forced Daschle's hand.
Obviously, this is sad because Daschle was an early endorser of Obama, and people don't want to bail on their friends.
But it's better that he leave. The stakes are just too high and Obama doesn't need the baggage. Health care is just that critical.
Monday, February 2, 2009
From Associated Press:
Most Republican governors have broken with their GOP colleagues in Congress and are pushing for passage of President Barack Obama's economic aid plan that would send billions to states for education, public works and health care.
Their state treasuries drained by the financial crisis, governors would welcome the money from Capitol Hill, where GOP lawmakers are more skeptical of Obama's spending priorities.
The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, planned to meet in Washington this weekend with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other senators to press for her state's share of the package.
Read more here
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- President Obama's Budget: The True Cost of War
- Bobby Jindal: Demon Fighter
- Daily Show: Obama Is the Anti-Christ and/or Hitler...
- Battling Conservatives Online Is Like Fighting Orc...
- Maddow, Matthews and Olbermann's Response to Jinda...
- Orange County Mayor Sends Email of White House wit...
- Bobby Jindal and the Exorcism
- MSNBC's "Oh God" Moment During Jindal's Speech
- David Brooks: Jindal's Speech = Disaster for Repub...
- Obama's Speech to Congress
- The Mendacity of Nope
- Jindal's State Must Pay $336 Million to Fix Levees...
- Hillary Clinton Interviewed on Chinese TV
- Romney Writes $1,000 Check to GOP Pols Who Voted A...
- GOP Drama Queen Govs Debate Whether to Accept Stim...
- Al Qaeda Founder Slams Osama Bin Laden
- Clinton Urges China to Keep Investing in U.S.
- Hillary Clinton Gets Rock Star Welcome in Asia
- GOP Govs Won't Accept Stimulus Funds?
- What the NY Post's Monkey Cartoon Should Have Look...
- Hillary Clinton on Indonesian MTV
- Paul Begala: If You Oppose Stimulus Don't Take the...
- Your Money at Work: Recovery.Gov
- Billions in Nonprofit Projects Halted by Credit Cr...
- No Stimulus Money for "NO" Votes (Or, Stop Standin...
- Palin Planned Parenthood Campaign Very Successful
- Stimulus Deal Struck!
- Obama vs. Geithner: It's All in the Body Language
- Maxine Waters Grills Bank Officials
- Watch Obama's First Presidential Press Conference ...
- Organize an Economic Recovery House Meeting (Video...
- Daschle Out
- Palin Supports Stimulus Package
- Barney Frank: Iraq Was the Biggest Spending Progra...
- Obama Letterpress Poster
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