All Hail the Secret Austerity Czar

Our Glibertarian overlords have big plans for the 112th Congress. Despite wedging on about loving the Constitution, transparency, Government by the people, populism, deficits, etc., etc., etc.–the Leaders of the incoming Republican Confederate Party House majority have shown their fidelity to the oligarchs by crafting rules designed to blow holes into any effort to balance the budget while still transferring yet more wealth from the poor and middle class to the richest in the land.

A recent editorial in the NYTs explained the madness of the new rules:

The new Republican rules will gut pay-as-you-go because they require offsets only for entitlement increases, not for tax cuts. In effect, the new rules will codify the Republican fantasy that tax cuts do not deepen the deficit.

It gets worse. The new rules mandate that entitlement-spending increases be offset by spending cuts only — and actually bar the House from raising taxes to pay for such spending.

And just before Christmas the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities identified an even larger problem with the new rules. It seems that these rules would make Glibertarian fanboy, Paul Ryan, a super secret and all powerful Austerity Czar.

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“The 9/11 Non-Responders”

A little compilation to forward in retaliation to all your “Gud Bless Thu Yu-Ess-Aye” relations & acquaintances:

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What Happened to the Brown Menace?

Is it just me, or did the issue of illegal immigration just completely fall off the radar after the first week of November? Did something happen then that would make illegal immigration no longer an issue? I wonder what it was…

Ice Trap

I hope you all aren’t fooled by the trap that one of the twin snow princesses from Maine is setting for the Democrats. Here is the statement on DADT from President Collins:

Following the conclusion of today’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, Senator Susan Collins released this statement:

“Like our closest allies, the United States’ Armed Forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country.

“After hearing powerful testimony from Secretary of Defense Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen, and reviewing the results of the Pentagon report, I remain convinced that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy,” implemented under President Clinton, should be repealed. And, I agree with Secretary Gates that the issue should be decided by Congress, not the courts.

“As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I voted, last May, to include in the Defense Authorization bill language repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, subject to certification by the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that there would not be a negative impact on combat effectiveness and military readiness. It is especially reassuring to learn from the Pentagon report that, after extensive interviews and feedback from service members, nearly 70 percent say that having a gay service member in their unit would have a “positive, mixed, or no effect” on the unit’s effectiveness.

Once the tax issue is resolved, I have made it clear that if the Majority Leader brings the Defense Authorization bill to the floor with sufficient time allowed for debate and amendments, I would vote to proceed to the bill.”

Insist on tax cuts first, running out the clock a good bit, then demand that amendments be allowed, and then let the others do the dirty work with thousands of amendments and procedural stalling. But David Broder will be impressed with how reasonable you are!

This should also manage to eat up enough of the legislative clock that we can dismiss START and unemployment benefits extension and anything else. But hey- rich folks will get a tax cut!

Republicans Demand Transparency and Accountability, But Only From Consumer Advocate

We may get to hear more from Elizabeth Warren here shortly:

House Republican lawmakers fired the opening salvo Monday in a war they plan against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by this year’s overhaul of financial regulations.

Republican Reps. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, the leading contender to take the reins of the House Financial Services Committee, and Illinois Rep. Judy Biggert, the top Republican on the panel’s oversight and investigations subcommittee, sent letters to the inspectors general of both the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve, directing them to conduct an investigation into the work being done to establish the new bureau.

Ms. Warren’s contacts with industry participants will be covered by the Treasury’s disclosure policy because she is a special adviser to Mr. Geithner. However, a Treasury official said Ms. Warren’s schedule will be more regularly on the consumer agency’s website once one is established. A treasury spokesman added that Ms. Warren is also willing to testify before Congress.

The lawmakers signaled they planned to scrutinize Ms. Warren’s every move, writing that they “are concerned that Professor Warren will be approaching this task without any experience managing—or creating—an organization of this scale and importance.”

I think she’ll hold up fine. With any luck, conservative activists can turn up a memorable one-liner (wise WASP?) and GOP House members can spend the whole hearing repeating it 5,000 times.

Just A Reminder

Who formed the DHS?

Who formed the TSA?

Who had no problem with indefinite detention?


Illegal wiretapping?

Who greenlit all these scanners?

Who turned away a guy who had a solution to the body scanner freak-out?

Something to keep in mind while we all listen to our newly found believers in individual rights and limited government on the right. I mean, welcome to the fight, but the hypocrisy is staggering.

*** Update ***

Make sure you read this by ED. The Democrats are just as bad on many of these issues now that they are in power (and no, that is not false equivalence, but objective reality), and when out of power, very happy to just be led around by the GOP with little fight.

I’m still just shocked at the seamless transition from our friends on the right from “If you haven’t done anything wrong you don’t have anything to hide” to “Don’t touch my junk.”

Apparently, It Is Too Hard To Make Up Their Own Lies

So they just copy them:

A congressional report used by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) to question the validity of the science behind global warming in a 2006 hearing was highly plagiarized, according to experts who reviewed it.

“The report was integral to congressional hearings about climate scientists,” Aaron Huertas of the Union of Concerned Scientists explained. “And it preceded a lot of conspiratorial thinking polluting the public debate today about climate scientists.”

The report was requested by Barton in 2005, when he was the head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a position he is currently trying to reclaim. In 2006, he said that global warming science is “pretty weak stuff.”

Plagiarism experts told USA Today that the report, which was authored by George Mason University statistician Edward Wegman, copied material from textbooks, Wikipedia, and other sources.

John Mashey, a retired computer scientist, conducted a year-long analysis of the Wegman report and found that 35 of the report’s 91 pages “are mostly plagiarized text, but often injected with errors, bias and changes of meaning.”

After yesterday’s cheating post, I’ll be interested to see how many people rush to justify this.