Chart Of Darkness

The problem with this Zero Hedge “implied unemployment rate” chart that the wingers are screaming about as proof of a massive “Democrat Party scam” is the fact that Tyler Durden ran the numbers back for 30 years and it exists all the way back to the Reagan era, and it shows that the “real” unemployment rate under President Bill Clinton was actually under two percent by the time he left office. Slick Willie was such a monster that he lowballed his numbers every month for both of his two terms and spotted himself a higher 4.0% plus unemployment rate instead, and then George W. Bush came along and quadrupled it from 2 percent to 8 percent.  (Why Bush the Elder didn’t learn from his boss, I dunno.)

Not only that, but the implied rate under St. Ronaldus (nearly 14%) was far worse than anything currently under the Obama administration (falling from 12%), meaning that if we’re measuring who the worst President in history is by the implied unemployment rate and by how far the numbers are “lying” then that particular crown goes to Jellybean. His guys basically shaved 3.5 points off the unemployment rate for the entirety of his first term and still got him re-elected overwhelmingly in 1984 as a result.  Of course, since that’s the benchmark, it doesn’t count.   President Obama took a far worse collapse and is handling far better than Reagan did with his recession, so of course everyone has to ignore 95% of the chart.

You know, because President Obama is judged by a different standard for reasons that nobody on the right can seem to articulate…



Charity, chastity, prudence, and hope

Heh:

I’m told that 22 Dem Senators have signed on to a toughly worded letter urging Komen to reverse its decision…

You know what, it’s too late. Fuck ’em, I don’t like alarms. Gin and Tacos (h/t to many commenters and to real life friend J for telling me how good G&T is):

[P]lease consult Lea Goldman’s outstanding, well-researched article “The Big Business of Breast Cancer”, which represents what may be the one and only outgoing link to Marie Claire magazine I will ever offer. It details the proliferation of scams in the charity industry (a fitting, if oxymoronic, term) that has sprouted up around breast cancer. There are many organizations that use the funds they raise primarily to raise more funds and pay handsome salaries to the administrators and their talentless family members.

[….]

The Susan G. Komen Foundationtm has been on my personal shitlist for many years (this post is from 2008). If this is what it takes to get you on the heretofore lonely Screw Komen bandwagon, so be it. But you should not have a low opinion of Komentm because of their announcement on Wednesday. You should have a low opinion of them because they’re a fake charity run like any other company with a product to sell. In this case the product is a combination of guilt, pity, and hope dissolved in a weak acid and dyed a nauseating pink.

[…]

Komen’s founder and CEO, Nancy Brinker, is a big money Republican with ties to the past three Republican administration who received a political appointment from George W. Bush as a reward for her fundraising largesse. She draws a salary of $459,000 annually, money well spent compared to the 39% of its budget the foundation spends on “public health education” (i.e., marketing itself). Not to mention that they also spend a million bucks per year in legal fees to threaten other non-profit groups who use the phrase For the Cure, to which Komentm claims to have intellectual property rights.



Simp Phony For The Devil

Having taken over Washington Monthly’s Political Animal blog for Steve Benen (now part of the Maddow team at MSNBC, and more power to him there, he’s badly needed), Ed Kilgore is doing a pretty solid job so far.  He flags this article from The Hill written by FOX News punching bag Juan Williams and immediately asks the correct question: How long will Juan Williams now last at FOX after stating the obvious about the network’s racial dog-whistle language?  Williams states:

The language of GOP racial politics is heavy on euphemisms that allow the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message. The code words in this game are “entitlement society” — as used by Mitt Romney — and “poor work ethic” and “food stamp president” — as used by Newt Gingrich. References to a lack of respect for the “Founding Fathers” and the “Constitution” also make certain ears perk up by demonizing anyone supposedly threatening core “old-fashioned American values.”

One has to wonder then why Williams is hanging out at FOX News, arguably the number one source for disseminating these code words.  I have zero sympathy for the guy, he made his choices and he has to live with them.  But Kilgore immediately grasps the issue:

When Newt Gingrich turned Juan Williams into the perfect foil during the January 19 Republican candidate debate in Myrtle Beach, SC, ironic symbolism certainly abounded. Aside from the fact that Newt vaulted himself into the lead by beating up on an African-American journalist on MLK Day in the Cradle of the Confederacy, there was the additional fact that Williams is a Fox News panelist who briefly became a conservative celebrity after NPR fired him for on-air remarks deemed insensitive to Muslims. The debate audience didn’t know or care, presumably viewing Williams as just another “race-card” player who needed to be slapped down for suggesting anyone railing against the work ethic of food stamp recipients might be appealing to atavistic motives.

Now, I think Kilgore is on the right track, but my cynical side wants to move the grubby, Cheeto crud-covered GOP chess pieces forward a few moves and says Williams lobbed such a fat, tasty curveball over the plate of Gingrich in South Carolina for a reason, and that is to make a horse race out of the coronation of Marquis du Mittens as long as possible to keep the faithful glued to the primary noise machine.  With Newt down in Florida and big by most accounts, he’s pitched another juicy one right into Gingrich’s ego wheelhouse with the primary just hours away.  I don’t know if it’ll do any good, but the plan seems pretty obvious.

Just the kind of scrum FOX excels at creating and running with.  Williams knows damn well what he’s doing now, just like he damn well knew what he was doing in South Carolina, people.  Weep not for Juan.

Like I said, zero sympathy for this phony simp’s symphony.



Fire Walker Chronicles: Don’t Take The Money And Run

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker sure is endearing himself to voters this week as the recall effort has obtained nearly twice the signatures it needed to trigger an election.  His latest antics?  Becoming the latest GOP governor to turn down a federal grant to create a state health insurance exchange, all but assuring that the feds will have to step in and do it in 2014…if Walker’s still in office, that is.

Wisconsin will turn down $37 million from the federal government that had been awarded to help implement health care exchanges under President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday.

Walker announced in December that Wisconsin would not pursue implementing the exchange until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the law.

But he did not say whether the state would take the money. On Wednesday Walker said he was notifying the federal government that Wisconsin was turning down the Early Innovator Grant, saying it didn’t make sense to commit to reforms that could have a devastating economic impact.

“Stopping the encroachment of ObamaCare in our state, which has the potential to have a devastating impact on Wisconsin’s economy, is a top priority. Wisconsin has been a leader and innovator in health care reform for two decades, and we have achieved a high level of health insuranEce coverage without federal mandates,” Walker said in a statement.

The American Cancer Society called the Republican governor’s action a move backward.

“A robust, consumer-friendly health exchange designed specifically for Wisconsin would greatly expand access to care to those who need it most, while preserving what already works. It’s unfortunate the (Walker) administration is deciding to ignore this reality,” said Allison Miller, Wisconsin government relations director for the American Cancer Society.

Walker and his Koch Brothers masters don’t want to expand access to care to Wisconsin’s poor.  There’s no massive profit in keeping poor people alive through health care, you know.  The funny part is while Walker is screaming about a GUBMINT TAKEOVER, that’s effectively what will happen if the exchange isn’t created:  federal law means that Washington will step in and create and run the state exchanges if the states refuse to do it.  I guess Walker is counting on Republicans taking complete control in 2012 and repealing everything back to 1867, or at the very least defunding the PPACA along with most of the rest of the federal government.

Wisconsin would join Kansas and Oklahoma in that respect if Walker goes through with it.  Somehow I’m thinking he won’t be around too much longer to make decisions like these.



A Funny Thing Happened On The Way Out Of Des Moines

It turns out Mitt Romney may not have won in Iowa after all.

Mitt Romney received 20 fewer votes than are reported from a Moulton precinct in numbers posted by the Republican Party of Iowa, the Appanoose County GOP chairman said today.

The final vote between Iowa caucuses winner Mitt Romney was eight ahead of Rick Santorum.

“We stand by the figures that were presented by the Moulton precinct caucus,” said Lyle Brinegar, chairman of the Appanoose County GOP.

Matt Strawn, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, continued to express confidence Friday that the order of finish will not change. He said the party would make no further comment until its two-week vote certification process is complete.

Moulton resident Edward True has signed an affidavit saying that he helped count the vote at the Garrett Memorial Library in Moulton and that the precinct had two votes for Romney, not 22, as reported online by the state GOP.

But here’s the kicker: the article goes on to say that even if Santorum did win that it doesn’t really change anything, we’re told.  Rick’s Slick is still going to lose in every other state.

Drake University political science professor Dennis Goldford said the results – even if the certification reveals a different answer – will change little other than bragging rights.

Santorum, who for months remained in the single digits in polls, wildly beat expectations, and that is the real story, Goldford said. The caucuses don’t result in an actual election, so there’s no additional harm done in terms of having to eject a candidate from a position, Goldford noted.

Now that’s odd.  Republicans keep screaming how the voting process is inherently corrupt if it ever produces a Democrat as the winner because they always steal elections, therefore we must have strict voting laws in every state for every election that makes it as difficult as possible for people to vote in order to protect the integrity of the election system.  We have to pass laws to immediately protect the sacred process from the evils of those people who may try to vote 4812 times.  It’s the only way one of them could end up President you know, and if you don’t agree you’re evil vote-stealing scum anyway.

But that election system apparently doesn’t matter when it comes to the coronation of Mitt Romney as nominee as fast as possible.  Strange how that works.  Democrats aren’t even American as far as most Republicans are concerned, but it’s all good if Republicans fiddle with the election system.  It’s just a caucus, right?  Besides, ACORN ACORN ACORN BLAH BLOOGITY BLAH CHICAGO WAY.



Fire Walker Chronicles: The GOP’s Signature Move

The massive political game of chicken that is the recall effort against Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker (working title? Recall: The Electoral Opera)  entered a new phase as former GOP State Senator and Republican-friendly judge J. Mac Davis ruled in favor of the Governor as expected, saying now that the burden of vetting the recall petition signatures now falls on the state’s election officials and not Walker.

The ruling by Waukesha County Circuit Judge J. Mac Davis came in a case filed Dec. 15 by Walker’s campaign committee and Stephan Thompson, executive director of the state Republican Party, asking Davis to order the accountability board to seek out and eliminate duplicate and fictitious signatures and illegible addresses in recall petitions.

Davis, who refused to enter injunctions in the case, based his decision on his interpretation of state law, more than on equal protection arguments brought up by the Republicans. He also said that the board must take “reasonable” efforts to eliminate such signatures.

Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel of the board, said after the hearing that his organization would have to discuss the decision to see what it needed to change in procedures already in place.

In court, Kennedy testified that entering signatures into a database to look for duplicates could take eight extra weeks for his staff, and could cost $94,000 for software and outside help.

Steven M. Biskupic, attorney for the Republicans, argued that not catching invalid signatures violated the constitutional rights to equal protection of people who chose not to sign recall petitions.

The second-best part is now that Democrats will be blamed for the bill after the Republicans sued in a heavily Republican county in front of a judge that was a former Republican state senator.  The best part is that if the board manages to get all the signatures processed and certifies them, it will be a massive Obama/ACORN conspiracy because the signatures weren’t vetted by Walker’s people.

Win-win for the Kochs, frankly.



Fire Walker Chronicles: Home Field Shutout

Looks like not only will Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker get his day in court to argue that the state’s recall process is unconstitutional, but that Democrats will be locked out of the case, unable to present arguments to defend the recall.

A judge in Wisconsin has ruled that Democratic recall organizers cannot challenge a lawsuit brought by the state GOP against election officials — a suit that claims Gov. Scott Walker’s constitutional rights are being violated by the state’s petition review process.

This means that barring a hypothetical appeal, any continuing litigation in this matter will be conducted exclusively between the state GOP and the election board’s attorney, without the Dems themselves being able to participate and present legal arguments.

“I was a little surprised,” said Jeremy Levinson, the attorney for the recall committee, in an interview with TPM. “It’s the first time I can recall — let me rephrase — it’s the first time I’m aware of a recall-related lawsuit where only the official who is being targeted for recall gets to be a party, and the folks who are working to recall that official are shut out of the process.”

It does seem rather pointedly ridiculous that Walker’s argument is that the burden of challenging recall signatures is “unconstitutional” abridgement of his rights, but being able to challenge that very argument in court is apparently completely unnecessary, and that the rights of the people of Wisconsin to exercise their free speech in a state-mandated recall process doesn’t actually matter so much compared to being Governor.

No wonder that the GOP filed the lawsuit in their home turf of Waukesha County to get a friendly judge, in this case a former GOP State Senator.  The case will proceed forward next week with that same judge hearing Walker’s arguments and the motion to dismiss the case on January 5th.  Meanwhile Walker and his allies are pushing to win the battle of public opinion, having already spent over a million bucks in ads fighting the recall petition in just the last six weeks.

We’ll see how that goes.