Such a weird video:
Friday, May 17, 2013
Atrios nails it here. There is something so absurd about our media's sudden joy at a scandal, rather than, you know, the real life scandals that have been right in front of them for the past 4 years.
Lots real scandals out there, just not ones our Villagers care much about. Wrongful foreclosures, massive long term unemployment, bankster fraud.
Edited talking points. That's the one that got them.
Killing american citizens without trial, and so on. The editors of Politico wrote a huge article about this in one of the least self aware things I've ever seen, basically ever:
The town is turning on President Obama — and this is very bad news for this White House.
Republicans have waited five years for the moment to put the screws to Obama — and they have one-third of all congressional committees on the case now. Establishment Democrats, never big fans of this president to begin with, are starting to speak out. And reporters are tripping over themselves to condemn lies, bullying and shadiness in the Obama administration.
Buy-in from all three D.C. stakeholders is an essential ingredient for a good old-fashioned Washington pile-on — so get ready for bad stories and public scolding to pile up.
Hey guys... IT'S YOUR FUCKING JOB TO TRIP OVER YOURSELF TO CONDEM LIES AND SHADINESS ALL THE GODDAMN TIME, NOT JUST WHEN "THE TIDE HAS TURNED" OR SOME BULLSHIT. Holy fuck these people. Also in typical fashion they put "lies" in the same category as "bullying the press" which is natural considering the self absorbed flowers they are. It's truely unbelievable.
We've had +8% unemployment for 5 years and the administration created a predatory lending program to deal with the foreclosure crisis. BUT THIS IS A TIPPING POINT, AND NOW THE PRESS WILL CARE.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I know I shouldn't be shocked, but good lord:
A whopping 41 percent of Republicans polled think the Obama administration’s handling of Benghazi is the greatest scandal in U.S. history. “One interesting thing about the voters who think Benghazi is the biggest political scandal in American history,” PPP adds, “is that 39% of them don’t actually know where it is. 10% think it’s in Egypt, 9% in Iran, 6% in Cuba, 5% in Syria, 4% in Iraq, and 1% each in North Korea and Liberia with 4% not willing to venture a guess.”There really are no words.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
This is pretty bad. ACLU:
NEW YORK – The Department of Justice secretly obtained two months' worth of phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors, according to an AP story.
The following statement can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office:
"The media's purpose is to keep the public informed and it should be free to do so without the threat of unwarranted surveillance. The Attorney General must explain the Justice Department's actions to the public so that we can make sure this kind of press intimidation does not happen again."
I'd say this is a good development because it might lead to some push back on this type of craziness, but I agree with Alex Pareene that I just can't see Republicans pushing back on government spying in any meaningful way, even if this is a legitimate scandal for the Obama Administration.
Monday, May 13, 2013
This is such a smart way to frame what would be a really great policy:
“The U.S. government invests in big banks by giving them a great deal on their interest rates,” freshman Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in an interview with Salon on Wednesday afternoon (the transcript of which is below). “We should make at least the same investment in our students.”I expected her to kick ass, and pretty much everything she'd done since she got to the senate has been awesome.
Warren was discussing the first bill she has introduced in the Senate, a plan released on Wednesday to address the crisis of outstanding student debt – which topped $1 trillion this year, with over 37 million Americans owing thousands of dollars in higher education costs that could take decades to pay back.
Student debt is now the second-highest form of debt in America – behind only mortgage debt – with the number of borrowers and the average balance increasing 70 percent since 2004. Research from the New York Federal Reserve Board indicates that this has begun to have an impact on the broader economy, with young people burdened by student debt more reluctant to take out auto or home loans. And without congressional action, this will get worse: on July 1, interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford student loans will double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. This will effectively raise costs for 8 million student borrowers by $1,000.
President Obama’s budget proposal would set subsidized student loan rates at 1 percent above the interest rate it costs the Treasury Department to borrow money for the U.S. government. But a variable rate without a cap would come back to haunt students when interest rates rise again. Another proposal would simply freeze the current rate of 3.4 percent, and would institute a plan limiting payment to 10 percent of income over a 10-year period.
Warren’s plan takes it a step further. For the next year, she would reduce the subsidized student loan interest rate to the same rate that America’s largest banks pay to borrow money from the Federal Reserve at the “discount window.” Currently, banks pay a minimal 0.75 percent to borrow from the Fed, one-ninth the rate that students would pay if Congress fails to act by July 1. Under the plan, the Federal Reserve would give the Department of Education the funds necessary to equalize those rates.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Immigration reform that has a path to citizenship is smart for a lot of reasons, but Digby kind of blew my mind with this:
An analysis by the Social Security Administration says a bipartisan immigration bill pending in the Senate would boost the retirement program's trust fund by adding millions of taxpayers to the economy.
The finding comes in a letter to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who requested the analysis, from Stephen C. Gross, chief actuary for the agency.
It could provide a boost for the immigration bill, which has been attacked by some conservatives as overly costly, as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to begin amending the measure on Thursday.
The analysis says the bill would add more than $300 billion in net additional revenues to Social Security and Medicare over the coming decade.
Gross writes that the overall effect of the bill on the long-range trust fund balance "will be positive."
Now just to be clear: The people who want to destroy social security will always want to do so, and there is no actual crisis that requires social security reform. So maybe none of this will matter. Then again, anything that makes it harder to advocate cutting social security = positive.