Can Someone Explain to Paul Krugman What a Troll Is?

Poor Paul Krugman, he is a nerd supreme, but his debate tactics need some serious work. He was unprepared for Scarborough’s epic slipperiness.”

And in other news, the liberal bubble burst at Oberlin this week when someone, possibly (but maybe not), was seen dressed in KKK robes on campus.

Today on #TWiBRadio, I also concede an extended cold war with the chatroom and the GOP’s big budget idea? Defund ACORN. Yes, the same ACORN that went under … three years ago.

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And this morning on #amTWiB, L. Joy explains high heels to Aaron, the NYPD is stalking teenagers, and the big banks foreclosed on everybody, even current military service-people.

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Human Stew

A woman’s body was found in a hotel water tank yesterday after complaints were made about showers running black and low water pressure. Upon hearing this, Elon had a … reaction.

Also on #TWiBRadio, #TeamBlackness touched on Republican governors shifting their stance on healthcare and Bingo beef in New Hampshire.

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And this morning on #amTWiB, the morning crew discussed side-chick rules, L.Joy has her most grandma of grandma moments, and the team were joined by comedian Dean Obeidallah to discuss racial profiling . Check it out:

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No budget for old white men

Speaking of herds of cats:

In a chaotic scene characterized by shouting more typical of the British parliament, the Republican Study Committee’s (RSC) alternative to Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) 2012 budget went down in a 119-136 vote.

It was gaveled shut only after Democratic leaders started pushing members to switch their “no” votes to “present,” in order to force a face-off between conservatives and the Republican leadership. A total of 176 lawmakers voted “present.”

That’s from the Hill.

To illustrate just how dishonest the Republican budgets really are, read Jason Kuznicki’s “Return to Normalcy” budget:

It’s got four basic parts:

  1. Return to Clinton-era rates of taxation, or at least something like them. As Ezra Klein has noted, this is very likely to happen in any event, because we’d need sixty Senate votes to extend the Bush tax cuts. We’ll just let them expire. As we’ll soon see, our Senators will be busy enough elsewhere.
  2. Remove the cap on the Social Security payroll tax. Yes, that means raising taxes. Yes, on the rich. Someone call the Koch brothers!
  3. Cap Medicare spending at GDP plus 1%. This is a doozy, I know. Can we do it? We’ll probably have to, like it or not, in any balanced budget plan.
  4. Reduce military spending to 1990s levels. In other words, bring the troops home. From everywhere. Let the force shrink by attrition. Cut spending on new weapons systems. Tell the world — much of it industrialized and friendly — that they will have to pay for their own defense, because we can’t afford it anymore. We’ve been doing way more than our fair share for way, way too long, and they can hardly say otherwise.

More or less, the plan would look like this.

This is similar to John’s do-nothing budget, or the do-nothing budgets of Annie Lowrey or David Leonhardt, or my budget. All these budgets have one thing in common: the end of the Bush tax cuts. To help illustrate where that will put us in the Big Scheme of Things, a chart!


Surely letting the cuts expire will lead to America becoming Somalia. A much more Serious idea would be to let the poor and elderly fend for themselves and get rid of all these pesky healthcare entitlements.

The Tea Party Illusion

The MSNBC headline reads “Just 32% of Tea Party candidates win”. But I’m not sure I know what that means. Are there candidates registered with the Tea Party? Are there non-Republican conservatives making gains in the House or Senate this year? Or is a Tea Party candidate just any Republican who happens to attend Tea Party rallies or self-identify as such – or who the media designates as such?

The media is treating the Tea Party as if it were a third party that has somehow transcended the stale old two-party system. If the Tea Party were a third party, after all, 32% would be a phenomenal number. But the Tea Party is not a third party. It’s not anything at all but a new way to describe conservative Republicans. Or, as Joe Carter puts it, a new way to brand an old party:

The media, of course, will credit the victory to the Tea Party “movement,” rather than to traditional Republican voters voting for Republican candidates. The Republican establishment and the Tea Party’s self-appointed “leaders” will agree. The result will be their treating the Tea Party as if it were merely another special interest to be pacified, rather than the a new label for the same conservatives who have always caucused with the GOP.

Of course, until a Republican president is actually in the White House, I imagine Republicans/Tea Partiers can still play the role of opposition quite effectively. And the media will be only too happy to perpetuate the myth of a Tea Party independent entirely from the GOP establishment. However much this may be true of some grassroots organizers and however much the Tea Partiers may truly be tired of the Washington establishment, in the end they’re still just Republicans, electing Republicans, sending Republicans to Washington to do what Republicans have always done.