Behold the Power of the PUMA PAC

Well, the #dickwhisperer sure has stepped in it now:

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank and Chris Cillizza host a regular video feature on the paper’s site called “Mouthpiece Theater.” The two sit around in smoking jackets in a fake library — it’s supposed to be a parody of “Masterpiece Theater” — and try to offer a funny take on political events of the day.

At least, that’s the idea.

Today’s edition focused, not surprisingly, on the Crowley/Gates meeting with the president yesterday, giving Milbank and Cillizza a chance to make all kinds of beer jokes and beer-related puns. In a bit about which beers would go to which political players if invited to the White House, we heard a variety of rather predictable jokes. David Vitter could enjoy “a nice cold Happy Ending.” Dennis Kucinich would have a bottle of “Insanely Bad Elf.” The French delegation could be served “Frosty Frog.” You get the idea.

At the 2:35 mark, Milbank tells the viewer, “And we won’t tell you who’s getting a bottle of Mad Bitch.” At that point, a photo of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears briefly on screen.

It was one thing when he called Nico Pitney a dick. But now he will have to deal with the wrath of the Puma’s.

At Least They Didn’t Shoot Him


Someone tell Rudy Giuliani to shut up.

And the Greatest Generation Sez “I Got Mine”

Tom Brokaw, eat your heart out:

Seniors are the least likely of all age groups in the U.S. to say that healthcare reform will benefit their personal healthcare situation. By a margin of three to one, 36% to 12%, adults 65 and older are more likely to believe healthcare reform will reduce rather than expand their access to healthcare. And by 39% to 20%, they are more likely to say their own medical care will worsen rather than improve.

I read somewhere that the fact that our seniors are all covered by medicare really makes health care reform difficult. When the most reliable voting bloc already has their coverage paid for by the state, all the Republicans have to do is peel off a few other haves and convince the old folks that Obama wants to euthanize them.

Another Story to Watch

This could be interesting:

The Justice Department and Swiss banking giant UBS have struck a tentative deal on IRS demands for the names of 52,000 wealthy American clients of the bank, lawyers for both sides said Friday.

“The parties have reached an agreement in principle on the major issues,” Stuart Gibson, a Justice Department tax division attorney, told U.S. District Judge Alan Gold during a morning phone conference.

Terms of the deal were not immediately announced. Gold said the parties would likely present a written breakdown at an Aug. 7 status conference, with a final agreement to be approved by the court three days later.

The announcement prompted Gold to cancel a key evidentiary hearing that had been scheduled for Monday on the closely watched tax standoff that has threatened to add new cracks to Switzerland’s historic reputation for banking secrecy.

I don’t know how you are supposed to maintain banking secrecy in a global economy.

Taking It To a New Level

I’m sort of used to people just making things up in politics these days, but this sort of takes things to a new level:

Freshman Democratic congressman Tom Perriello — whose Virginia district leans Republican — faced a tough decision last month over whether to support the climate change bill. As he was weighing the issue, he got a letter from a non-profit group in his district that focuses on issues of importance to Hispanics. The letter urged Perriello to oppose the bill because it could raise low-income members’ utility bills. “Many of our members are on tight budgets and the sizes of their monthly utility bills are important expense items,” it read in part.

But, reports the Charlottesville Daily Progress, the letter was a fake…


Ezra obliterates McMeghan

And to think they were making cooking videos together only a few years ago:

In my chat today, a reader asked me to respond to Megan McArdle’s lengthy case against national health insurance. The problem is that, well, there’s not a lot to specifically respond to. In 1,600 words, she doesn’t muster a single link to a study or argument, nor a single number that she didn’t make up (what numbers do exist come in the form of thought experiments and assumptions). Megan’s argument against national health insurance boils down to a visceral hatred of the government. Which is fine. Megan is a libertarian. That’s, like, her journey, man. But her attack on national health insurance seems a lot more about libertarianism than it is about national health insurance.

Megan has two primary concerns. The first is that national health insurance would succeed in reducing health-care costs, and that would limit the rewards available for medical innovation (drugs, devices, etc), which would in turn reduce medical innovation and prevent future generations from enjoying wonder drugs. “If you worry about global warming,” she writes, “you should worry at least as hard about medical innovation.”

Second, national health care gives elites license “to wrap their claws around every aspect of everyone’s life.” Her primary example is obesity. Megan believes that national health insurance will give the government license to decide that we can never really want a second chocolate eclair. She also believes that the real reason most every epidemiologist in the country is worried about obesity is because they hate, and are disgusted by, poor people.

McMeghan does not deserve to be taken seriously. What bothers me most about the whole MCMEGHAN IS A SERIOUS THINKER stuff is that it stems not only from the strange respect the Atlantic imprimatur inexplicably yields, but also from the soft sexism of lowered expectations. She’s a young woman, and she can long blog posts from a glibertarian persepctive! Whoop dee doo.

A Small Success

Looks like cash for clunkers was popular:

New-car shoppers appear to have already snapped up all the $1 billion that Congress appropriated for the “cash for clunkers” program, leading the Transportation Department to tell auto dealers Thursday night to stop offering the rebates.

But a White House official said the program had not been suspended, creating confusion about its status. The program offers $3,500 to $4,500 for people who trade in an old car for a new one with higher fuel economy.

Quick. All the dealerships around here were advertising this.