Monday Morning Open Thread: “Pink Slime Economics”

(D.B. Echo at Another Monkey)
Professor Krugman reminds us not to get so distracted by the SCOTUS anti-ACA antics that we forget to keep a sharp eye on zombie-eyed granny-starver[*] Paul Ryan:

… The Ryan budget is a fraud; Mr. Ryan talks loudly about the evils of debt and deficits, but his plan would actually make the deficit bigger even as it inflicted huge pain in the name of deficit reduction. But is his budget really the most fraudulent in American history? Yes, it is.
To be sure, we’ve had irresponsible and/or deceptive budgets in the past. Ronald Reagan’s budgets relied on voodoo, on the claim that cutting taxes on the rich would somehow lead to an explosion of economic growth. George W. Bush’s budget officials liked to play bait and switch, low-balling the cost of tax cuts by pretending that they were only temporary, then demanding that they be made permanent. But has any major political figure ever premised his entire fiscal platform not just on totally implausible spending projections but on claims that he has a secret plan to raise trillions of dollars in revenue, a plan that he refuses to share with the public?
What’s going on here? The answer, presumably, is that this is what happens when extremists gain complete control of a party’s discourse: all the rules get thrown out the window. Indeed, the hard right’s grip on the G.O.P. is now so strong that the party is sticking with Mr. Ryan even though it’s paying a significant political price for his assault on Medicare.
Now, the House Republican budget isn’t about to become law as long as President Obama is sitting in the White House. But it has been endorsed by Mr. Romney. And even if Mr. Obama is reelected, the fraudulence of this budget has important implications for future political negotiations…
[W]hat we learn from the latest Republican budget is that the whole pursuit of a Grand Bargain was a waste of time and political capital. For a lasting budget deal can only work if both parties can be counted on to be both responsible and honest — and House Republicans have just demonstrated, as clearly as anyone could wish, that they are neither.

[* h/t Charles Pierce]


Apart from empty-eyed GOP charlatans, what’s on the agenda for the new week?

51 replies
  1. 1
    piratedan says:

    I feel like this whole Ryan budget tango is very reminiscent of that scene from Big Trouble In Little China where Jack Burton has his “first” conversation with Lo-Pan when he realizes that this whole situation only has a very tenuous similarity to reality as we know it.

    “Are you crazy, is that your problem?”

    le sigh

    spent time this weekend trying to get through to an old frat brother asking him why he is scared of Obamacare since all it is a Moderate Republican idea from the mid 1990’s to help bring down insurance costs by treating health care insurance a bit more like having drivers insurance for your vehicle.

  2. 2
    Bago says:

    Two hundred and forty dollars worth of pudding. Awwwww yeah.

  3. 3
    amk says:

    Adam Sandler movie Jack and Jill sweeps Razzie awards.

    Sandler was named worst actor and actress for playing both Jack and Jill, a brother and his twin sister.

    “He didn’t play triplets, but he couldn’t have won more awards if he had,” said Razzies founder John Wilson.

    It is the first time in the 32-year history of the awards that a film has won every category.

  4. 4
    Joey Maloney says:

    Shameless self-promotion: I got a “use-it-or-lose-it” email from Cafepress today about a shop I forgot I had. So hurry and get yourself a “North American War Games: CSA, 2nd place” tshirt or hoodie or mousepad or whatever at

    And thank you for your support.

  5. 5
    BGK says:

    My mental gears will not stop grinding on the news that, to counter ABC’s having Giggles Couric guest-co-host “Good Morning America,” they’ve counter-programmed…Sarah…Palin

    Please tell me this is a joke?

  6. 6
    BGK says:

    Sorry, edit: NBC has counter-programmed Palin as guest-co-host on the “Today” show. Given that Matt “Puttyhead” Lauer already quite capably brings the stupid, if I was Ann Curry, I would either take a sick day or drink heavily and openly.

  7. 7
    kdaug says:



    When he goes, Krugthulu goes all the way.

    (Just wish he’d leave the NYT and start his own gig. He’s got the cash and the following).

  8. 8
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @BGK: @BGK:

    Saw this a thread or so down. Since it was (apparently) announced yesterday, I was hoping it was an elaborate (if cruel) April Fool’s prank.

    But no, seems to be true.

    I’d boycott the show if I could, but since I haven’t watched any network morning show in at least a decade, I doubt my principled protest would have much impact.

  9. 9
    Narcissus says:

    Honestly I expect Palin to experience complete mental collapse by the second commercial break. I’m going to be watching.

  10. 10
    Schlemizel says:

    Ya know, its impossible for a conservative to get a break from the lame stream media. All those people are liberal, liberal, liberal. Does this mean the grifter has been co-opted?

  11. 11
    BGK says:

    …or is Our Heroic Sarah playing 22-D chess (twice as good as Obummer’s lame 11-D chess also too) with the lamestream libtards by taking their filthy lucre while simultaneously attacking them from the inside?

    What’s the morning line on her peppering Al Roker’s @ss with buckshot while yelling “WOLVERINES!!!”?

  12. 12
    Johnk says:

    Maybe pay taxes this week, probably wait until next week.

  13. 13
    amk says:

    gopolitico breaking story – missus mehmney replaces mr mehmney as the rethugs’ candidate. Obama thinking about quitting politics altogether.

  14. 14
    Schlemizel says:

    I almost registered on politiwhore just to post on this that thread. It would have been

  15. 15
    PeakVT says:

    Just heard Fred Smith, the CEO of Fed Ex, say on NPR:

    “To me, the most tragic thing is to think about these families that lost these 5,000 wonderful young men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he says. “The human cost of this reliance on petroleum from unstable and unfriendly parts of the world has cost this country dearly and we need to work as hard as we can to solve this problem.”

    Obviously he has a reason to dislike the oil companies, but that’s still pretty damn harsh.

  16. 16
    paradox says:

    For a lasting budget deal Obama politics can only work if both parties can be counted on to be both responsible and honest — and House Republicans have just demonstrated, as clearly as anyone could wish, that they are neither.

    I’m shocked, so shocked, I tell you, at this profound truth crashing across our political shores.

    We need enticements for voters and something to build for the future with the next election. As far as I understand it, because the White House decided to be the fucking morons of the century and strike that incredible deficit deal there is no money to spend this year, we have to cut spending for that fucking budget deal.

    Cut spending in an election year. When our economy and people need every dime for hiring.

    Okay, motherfuckers, go ahead and slap your foreheads and drink heavily over Sarah Palin. It’s simply laughable, do you really expect the contrast to the White House to be all that different? Of course Obama is smarter more urbane yadda yadda yadda, but everyone still sees the reeking Palin shit as the result.

    Everyone sees it, anyone not locked in some ludicrous sneering boom of echo chamber about how smart the White House is. Heh.

  17. 17

    Totally not relevant but Paul Ryan looks like Count Dracula to me. I don’t know what his deal is but maybe he should join Boehner for a round of golf just once or twice and get some sun on his face.

  18. 18

    In other news, Curveball confesses all ….

  19. 19
    amk says:

    @Schlemizel: You need to control your outburst. Now you’ve killed cole’s blog. :)

    Cole, your vista moment is becoming more embarrassing.

  20. 20
    dr. bloor says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    So hurry and get yourself a “North American War Games: CSA, 2nd place” tshirt or hoodie or mousepad

    A hoodie? What, are you trying to get us all killed?

  21. 21
    PeakVT says:

    @Southern Beale: Re-confesses. Still, it will be nice to have his confession on tape. It’s too bad everyone who voted for Bush in 2004 can’t be made to watch it.

  22. 22
    Egg Berry says:

    @PeakVT: No mention of the 100s of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans who lost their lives.

  23. 23
    bob h says:

    And by all means lets get back to the War on Women, which was unfortunately interrupted by the SCOTUS circus.

  24. 24
    bago says:

    Holy F-ing crap, do you realize what Exxon pulled off? If as an oil company on the hook for the damages of the exxon-valdez accident just dropped 15 billion into bonds at 8.25 percent (bond rate for 1990, accident was in 89) while they waited 20 years for the litigation to finalize, they would have from the bonds, assets of Total Value = $7322331044.62


    Claimaints to the settlement will only be dying off over the years…

    You can profit off of an oil spill! Seriously, the case took 20 years to litigate.

  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Egg Berry: When the CEO of a major corporation makes a public statement like that, I think it is a move in the right direction. YMMV.

  26. 26
    Raven says:

    The Bodhi woke us up at 2:30am because a pipe had broken and the bathroom was flooding!

  27. 27
    PeakVT says:

    @Egg Berry: At least he recognizes that Americans died.

    Related: James Hansen’s (et. al.) 1981 predictions are holding up pretty well. Unfortunately.

  28. 28
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Oh wow, that’s a mess! But good on The Bodhi, what an alert and smart pup!

    Hope the damage is as minimal as can be hoped.

  29. 29
    Raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: We think we are ok. It’s 3/4″ heart pine and the bathroom, like every house in our old neighborhood, was created from the original sloped porch. There are a couple of holes and the water seemed to run through. I’ll have to take down some floor insulation but we are crossing our fingers that the floor is ok. I Refinished it wit oil instead of poly so that is a plus as well.

  30. 30
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Sounds … Not so terrible. But probably not how you had planned to spend your day.

  31. 31
    the fugitive uterus says:

    with regard to “Lassie moments”: this weekend, bf’s daschund tried to tell me the trash can was on fire but he forget part the way through and just rolled over on his back for belly scratchins

  32. 32
    jibeaux says:

    @amk: I hope it doesn’t sound too partisan of me to say that smacks of desperation to me.

  33. 33
    Phylllis says:

    1st official day of spring break; so far I’ve started laundry and cleaned the bathroom to within an inch of its life. Next is the kitchen floor, then dust and vacuum. Once that’s over with, I’m free. Free, I say!

  34. 34
    Bruce S says:

    James Suroweicki at The New Yorker comes down pretty hard on little Paulie, although not as evocative as Krugman’s meat metaphors:

    “What (Ryan’s) plans tell us is that there’s very little the federal government has done over the past hundred and fifty years, apart from fighting wars, that the House Republicans approve of.”

  35. 35
    mai naem says:

    @Schlemizel: OH, she’s going to screw up with her word salad and then blame it on Al Roker cuz Roker’s not only a librul pinko commie on that librul channel NBC but also he’s a n**ger and you know about those n**gers and how they’re all in the tank for the pinko commie traitor Kenyan soshulist black black blackity Obama. Also. Too.

    BTW, when are they going to find to the dead girl/boy/house page/lowly staffer/intern…. whoever in Paul Ryan’s background so that he has to resign to spend more time with his family. Oh,my get it over and done with already. I cannot stand this smug thin skinned WATB, Ugh.

  36. 36
    jon says:

    Would there be any political value in indexing the tax rate for the rich to the unemployment rate in some way? Yes, there’s always that risk of taking that ‘job creators’ talking point too seriously, but it does make some sorts of sense. Maybe it should only be the corporate or capital gains tax rates that get indexed in that way?

    It sounds like a better strategy than just waiting for the GOP to come up with its next bullshit justification for the next round of tax cuts. If the job creators are to be rewarded, then the free market-loving system can also punish, no?

  37. 37
    Bnad says:

    Don’t think the Ryan plan is going to do that much political damage. Was in Michigan at my folks house last weekend and saw at least two ads saying that the Democrats are attacking Medicare. Classic Rove technique of attacking the opponent where they’re strongest. Now when low-information voters hear that Medicare is being attacked, they’ll think that both parties are doing it.

  38. 38 I try to be amused says:

    But has any major political figure ever premised his entire fiscal platform not just on totally implausible spending projections but on claims that he has a secret plan to raise trillions of dollars in revenue, a plan that he refuses to share with the public?

    Call it the Underpants Gnome budget.

    2. ???
    3. PROFIT!

  39. 39
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    Because most days I have nothing of substance to add to the conversation, I just wanted to say, I Love, Love, Love that poster. Love it.

  40. 40
    patrick II says:

    The last time I saw a “secret plan” forwarded by a presidential candidate it was Nixon’s secret plan to end the war in Vietnam. It turned out he was planning on expanding the war and even considered using nukes. The war expansion happened — he got talked out of the nukes part by Kissinger.
    We don’t need anymore secret plans spoken of only in quiet rooms.

  41. 41
    D.B. Echo says:

    @Bago: That is a LOT of pudding.

  42. 42
    jim filyaw says:

    this is one political independent who is grateful that obama is where he’s at, but i dearly wish he were half the wild-eyed radical of republican mythology.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    Had peanut butter and banana on pumpernickel toast for breakfast and am now contemplating riding my new bike to work. The nasty gusty winds from yesterday are still going, but they’re supposed to be done by 2 pm, so at least I would only have to battle them in one direction.

  44. 44
    Some Loser says:

    @jim filyaw:
    Who is both incompetent and the cleverest mastermind?

    Kidding aside, that would be awesome. A president who bumbles himself into greatness masterfully.

  45. 45
    gex says:

    I’m hoping that this display of not being able to be trusted to be adults was accounted for in the ratings drop last time they did this bullshit. It was predicated on the fact that the raters knew the GOP wouldn’t be able to keep their word or act like adults.

  46. 46
    LawyerInTheMaking says:

    But has any major political figure ever premised his entire fiscal platform … on claims that he has a secret plan to raise trillions of dollars in revenue, a plan that he refuses to share with the public?

    I swear this reminds me of the episode in “The West Wing” when Josh gets into hot water for joking w/ the press corp about the President having a “Secret Plan to Fight Inflation”.

    Please tell me I’m not the only WW nerd who finds these crazy parallels all the time? LOL

  47. 47
    Clime Acts says:

    Again, and again, and again I ask: Why do I have to hear this kind of straight talk, naming names and calling out the bastards, from Krugman and not from Prez Obama and other elected, nationally prominent Dems?

    Or is Obama still planning another four years of good faith negotiations with these good people?

  48. 48
    gaz says:

    @Joey Maloney: Why would I do that? I didn’t come in 2nd place in any war games? and if I did, I’d think the shirt would be free, would it not?

    The whole thing is confusing to me.

  49. 49
    Bubblegum Tate says:


    Two hundred and forty dollars worth of pudding. Awwwww yeah.

    I cook, and then I chiiiiiiill.

    God, do I love that sketch. And the version on the DVD just isn’t the same with that generic tune replacing “Sexual Healing.”

  50. 50
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Clime Acts:
    Couldn’t have anything to do with K-Thug not being an elected official. No. Not a thing.

  51. 51
    Peter says:

    Massive food scandal in Europe. Industrial salt in food for 10 years

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