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Cutting back

I’m having severe pain in my arms and neck today, so I won’t be keeping my usual frenetic pace. If anyone else wants to step up, I’ll be much obliged!

Whatever

Al Qaeda, you know what you’ve done to America? You’ve made us indifferent. You want to set off another bomb? Yeah, okay. Whatever. We’re so used to the domestic battering that resulted from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that sucked up all the disposable cash that we’re numb.

If we’re lucky, FEMA has enough funding left to come in and clean up whatever’s left.

I saw the local police chief on my teevee this morning, talking about how he was briefed by the FBI on the possibility of an attack in Philadelphia — even though they have no information that indicates we’re a target. But it’s very, very important that we are very, very scared.

Al Qaeda, what can you do to us that makes our lives worse? No jobs, no money, no hope. No government that’s willing to help us, they only want to help the other countries where we’re at war. Always enough money for war and the profiteers.

That’s what your boy Osama wanted to do: He wanted to bleed our economy dry, the way he did the Soviets. Congratulations, you did it! Anything you do at this point is just gilding the lily.

But if you do bomb us, maybe they’ll finally find the money to help right here at home. Silver lining!

Losing

David Weprin is now losing the safe democratic seat previously held by Anthony Weiner 44-50 to the republican.

Reminder: 56% of Weiner’s constituents wanted him to stay, but the DCCC and the Democratic leadership knew what was best for the 9th district of NY. it was a safe seat. And while the true impact is negligible, as the 9th is likely to be redistricted out of existence, the optics are awful, it exposes the DCCC to charges of incompetence, and it’s a huge waste of money and time.

But that’s the DCCC for you: Suuuuuper-geniuses, all of them.

Frontrunner

No question that the wingnuts love themselves some executions – guilt optional:

Perhaps the most telling moment in last night’s GOP debate was the crowd twice cheering the 234 executions Rick Perry has presided over. This would be grotesque enough if this high rate of executions was the product of a scrupulous criminal justice system. But as the case of Cameron Todd Willingham illustrates all too well, it is in fact possible for someone to get executed in Rick Perry’s Texas on the basis of no reliable evidence whatsoever, and not only will Perry let it go forward but he’ll quash any subsequent investigation. And Willingham is just the beginning — under his watch, Texas has executed juveniles, the mentally disabled, people guilty of “felony murder” (i.e. who didn’t kill anybody), and defendants with inadequate counsel. This is a record to be ashamed of, not one to boast about.

And yet, Perry was cheered. He has become the Republican frontrunner not in spite of being abominable, but in large measure because of it (although his continuing assertions that Social Security is a “Ponzi Scheme” will test the limits of this phenomenon.) It is a scary prospect indeed.  And and unlike on Social Security, his proud role as America’s Executioner Of People Who Sometimes May Even Be Guilty would if anything probably be an asset in the general election too.

Delaying tactic

Oh, come on. Of course Obama’s trying to cut Medicare and raise the eligibility age. You’d have to believe in unicorns if you can listen to that speech and think otherwise. But you know what the problem with that is? First, our middle-aged, stressed-out, uninsured bodies are giving out. If we don’t die first, but manage to hang on to age 67, we’ll be moving into the Medicare system with much more serious (and expensive) illnesses that could have been treated more cheaply in the prevention stage. The other problem is, we’ll have to work much longer — and that will take up jobs that young people desperately need.

Other than those little problems, I’d have to say that having a Democratic president embracing Republican talking points on Medicare (even for a bill that won’t pass) is a fabulous idea! What’s not to love?

WASHINGTON — In his jobs speech before Congress Thursday night, President Barack Obama appeared to call on congressional Democrats to cut Medicare, a politically toxic proposal that undercuts a previous Democratic campaign strategy.

Obama pushed to cut Medicare during the debate over raising the federal debt ceiling, urging lawmakers from both parties to accept a “grand bargain” that involved cutting both Social Security and Medicare. Obama’s move upset congressional Democrats, who saw a proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to radically cut Medicare as an attack ad opening going into the Nov. 2012 elections. House Republicans voted for the Ryan proposal en masse, just months after hordes of GOP freshmen were swept into office amid advertisements vowing to protect the hugely popular entitlement program.

[…] “Now, I realize there are some in my party who don’t think we should make any changes at all to Medicare and Medicaid, and I understand their concerns,” Obama said during his speech Thursday. “But here’s the truth. Millions of Americans rely on Medicare in their retirement. And millions more will do so in the future. They pay for this benefit during their working years. They earn it. But with an aging population and rising health care costs, we are spending too fast to sustain the program. And if we don’t gradually reform the system while protecting current beneficiaries, it won’t be there when future retirees need it. We have to reform Medicare to strengthen it.

Yep, he went there. We have to burn the village in order to save it!

Medicare faces long-term problems due to the rising costs of health care, a uniquely American problem sparked by protections the U.S. government provides for health insurance companies and drug manufacturers. Obama’s health care reform bill attempted to lower those costs, but his call now to “reform” Medicare is sure to be interpreted as a call to raise the eligibility age for Medicare, something Obama urged during the debt ceiling debate to no avail.

As Ezra Klein reported for the Washington Post on Wednesday, Obama is planning a separate deficit reduction package that liberal groups expect to include raising the eligibility age. Making this change for both Medicare and Social Security hits poorer participants in the programs hardest, since they are more likely to die at a younger age.

Oh, and Krugman says it’s not bad, not a snowball’s chance in hell of passing, why isn’t the Fed reacting to unemployment?

And it stoned me

For all the people I know who were hit hard by the flooding this week. Van Morrison:

I received a message from the president late Thursday afternoon as he was preparing for tonight’s important jobs speech. The chief used “David” in his salutation and signed his e-mail “Barack.” I was so moved by this personal gesture, I had to reply

Fuck authority

Pennywise:

Jobs

Lambert has a solution.

I predict a riot

Kaiser Chiefs:

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