2011/11/19

Round-up on the news 19Nov2011

Very pleased to note that Democrats hung tough on the latest vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment.


In 1995, 72 of the 202 Democrats who voted crossed over and voted for the BBA. That’s quite a few, and it means that it wasn’t just conservative and Blue Dog Democrats; quite a few mainstream or even liberal Dems thought it was worth supporting for substantive or political reasons. Today, however, only 25 Democrats crossed lines to support the amendment, while four Republicans voted against it.

Yes, Democrats have previously gotten all wobbly-kneed, caved in and voted for packages that they considered insane, but lately, they're definitely learning and toughening up.

Bwah-hah-hah!!!! Michele Bachmann insists "I haven't had a gaffe." Uh, gee, some random, unknown person in a receiving line tells Bachmann that a vaccine causes mental retardation, so Bachmann insisted that this random person knew what she was talking about. Erm, slight problem, the claim is complete and utter poppycock. Rush Limbaugh even came to the defense of the vaccine, and when Limbaugh tells you you've "jumped the shark," you've really gone overboard! Oh, and her plan to run the government without taxing anybody was a good one! Bachmann's gaffes have been quite frequent.

Speaking of Limbaugh, the fellow got very confused and claimed that the former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was gay. No, gays, straights and lesbians all fall into the category of adults who make love to adults on a consensual basis. Rapists and pedophiles fall into a different category, that of people who abuse victims and who really couldn't care less what the gender of their victims are.

Thankfully, the Super-Committee/Cat Food Commission II seems to be headed for complete failure. The likely result is sequestration in 2013. Given that Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have declared, in response to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's claim that sequestration would result in a "substantial risk of not being able to meet our defense needs" that

"We are staunchly opposed to this draconian action. This is not an outcome that we can live with, and it is certainly not one that we should impose on ourselves. The sequester is a threat to the national security interests of the United States, and it should not be allowed to occur.”

In other words, sequestration is not a serious threat as these Republican Senators will clearly not allow it to gut their preferred programs. Unfortunately this is, by the count of the FireDogLake blogger, President Obama's fourth attempt at a "Grand Bargain." Sure would be nice if it were to be the last.

It's difficult to keep from sympathizing with Occupy protesters when law enforcement authorities get so completely out of control that they use pepper spray directly onto the faces of Occupiers who are just sitting there peacefully. Of course, pepper spray is torture and should never be used unless police officers are in extreme peril, a condition that very obviously did not apply in this case. Great picture from the same blog, by the way. What's the ultimate goal of the neoliberals who are the opposition to #OWS? Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the US have been negotiating, behind closed doors naturally, for a Trans-Pacific Partnership that would lock in many of the worst aspects of NAFTA, but in the Pacific instead of Central America.

And lastly, former Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum, gets all philosophical and declares that, when contemplating the vast number of Americans who are getting food stamps as opposed to being able to work at jobs, that hey, well “suffering is part of life and it’s not a bad thing, it is an essential thing in life.” Um, yeah, considering that Santorum’s estimated net worth is between $880,000 and $1.9 million, this is a real generous, Christian attitude.

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