Round-up of events - Nov 30th to Dec 9th

Wow! Awesome speech by the President! After so many "populist" appeals by the Tea Party (Genuine populism takes the side of regular folks against billionaires, the Tea Party was largely founded by billionaires), the President makes a genuinely populist appeal to the American people! Naturally, a fellow on Fox News has a problem with it. Very interestingly, he tips his hand as to how weak his case against the President's speech is. The President is "quoted" as saying "Rugged individualism doesn't work." Did Obama actually say any such thing? Here's the part where Obama says "rugged individualism":

OBAMA: Now, just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt's time, there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let's respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. "The market will take care of everything," they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes -- especially for the wealthy -- our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn't trickle down, well, that's the price of liberty.
Now, it's a simple theory. And we have to admit, it's one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That's in America's DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But here's the problem: It doesn't work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didn't work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It's not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the '50s and '60s. And it didn't work when we tried it during the last decade. (Applause.) I mean, understand, it's not as if we haven't tried this theory. [emphasis added]

Obama isn't saying that "rugged individualism" doesn't work, he's saying that trickle-down economics doesn't work. That's something entirely different from what the Fox News guy "quoted" the President as saying. This goes back to G.W. Bush and his constant "straw man" arguments. If an opponent has to make up straw men in order to make an argument, that indicates that they don't have any good arguments to begin with.

Right-wingers are now using urban legends to deny economic help to struggling constituents. People need help after being unemployed for months? Nah, right-wing Congresspeople are just contending that there are just too many lazy people collecting unemployment! How is that approach affecting the middle class? Very badly, as a matter of fact. Another urban legend appears to be the talking point that, by proposing to raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires, Democrats want to raise taxes on "job creators" and that small businesses in particular, would be devastated by those new taxes. Slight problem with that talking point:
We wanted to talk to business owners who would be affected. So, NPR requested help from numerous Republican congressional offices, including House and Senate leadership. They were unable to produce a single millionaire job creator for us to interview.
 NPR lists several other groups they contacted to try and locate these elusive "millionaire job creators" but, amazingly enough, couldn't locate any [/snark]

Heh! Elizabeth Warren is doing extremely well in her campaign to replace Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), so well in fact that Karl Rove is tossing everything and the kitchen sink at her! His latest ad accuses Warren of approving of the TARP bailouts of late 2008 (After an ad accusing her of being too close to the Occupy Wall Street crowd failed miserably). Warren responds by noting that Rove gets the situation completely backwards and that, boy, he sure is getting desperate.

Republicans block nominee for Consumer Financial Protection Agency (The vote "lost" with 53 in favor against 45 opposed as 53 wasn't sufficient to break the Republican filibuster). Republican Senator openly admits that the nominee was qualified, but that he opposes the whole idea of the agency to begin with.

Politico shows itself to be an organization utterly without integrity. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) presented a ludicrously half-baked mess of a plan to end Medicare and to replace it with a voucher system. Not only that, the system would diminish in value to senior citizens every year, leaving them increasingly unable to afford health care. Naturally, just about every Republican member of Congress voted for the idea, a vote that Democrats would do well to hang about their necks in 2012 as the idea quickly proved to be wildly unpopular. To the absolute delight of partisan Democrats, Mitt Romney has now wholeheartedly adopted the Ryan plan as his own.

And in cheerful news, a Fox News host has to back down after calling the Muppets a group of communists.

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