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Dirty tricks in Wisconsin

They’ll do what they have to do to stay in power:

Americans for Prosperity is sending absentee ballots to Democrats in at least two Wisconsin state Senate recall districts with instructions to return the paperwork after the election date.

The fliers, obtained by POLITICO, ask solidly Democratic voters to return ballots for the Aug. 9 election to the city clerk “before Aug. 11.”
A Democrat on the ground in Wisconsin said the fliers were discovered to be hitting doors in District 2 and District 10 over the weekend.

“These are people who are our 1’s in the voterfile who we already knew. They ain’t AFP members, that’s for damn sure,” the source said.

One flier was discovered in Hudson, Wisc. where Democrat Shelly Moore is attempting to upend GOP State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf in District 10; the other was found in Milwaukee, where Democrat Nancy Nusbaum is challenging Sen. Robert Cowles in District 2.

“If they’re targeting for Aug. 16, they’re hundreds and hundreds of miles off,” said the Democratic activist who has been on the ground in Madison for months. “This has nothing to do with either Democratic incumbent up on August 16th.”

Cat humor

Yep

Remember, this argument really isn’t about the nuts and bolts of the deal. It’s about a Democratic president cutting spending in the middle of a depression:

WASHINGTON — The nation’s political leaders agreed on Sunday to spend and invest less money in the American economy, a step that economists said risks the reversal of a faltering recovery, in the hope of improving the nation’s long-term prosperity.

The emerging outlines of a deal to cut spending by at least $2.4 trillion over 10 years, with a multibillion-dollar down payment later this year, would complete an about-face in the federal government’s role from outsize spending in the immediate aftermath of the recession to outsize cuts in the future.

Last week brought the disconcerting news that the economy grew no faster than the population during the first six months of the year, in part because of spending cuts by state and local governments. Now the federal government is cutting, too.

“Unemployment will be higher than it would have been otherwise,” Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive of the bond investment firm Pimco, said Sunday on ABC. “Growth will be lower than it would be otherwise. And inequality will be worse than it would be otherwise.”

He added, “We have a very weak economy, so withdrawing more spending at this stage will make it even weaker.”

Tomorrow

Senate Democratic Policy Committee Public Hearing on School Choice

DATE: Tuesday, Aug. 2
TIME: 10 a.m.
LOCATION: CCP Northeast Regional Center
12901 Townsend Road
This hearing is free and open to the public.

Birth control

This will really piss off the wingnuts, since now they argue that birth control causes abortions:

WASHINGTON — Health insurance plans must cover birth control as preventive care for women, with no copays, the Obama administration said today in a decision with far-reaching implications for health care as well as social mores.

The requirement is part of a broad expansion of coverage for women’s preventive care under President Barack Obama’s health care law. Also to be covered without copays are breast pumps for nursing mothers, an annual “well-woman” physical, screening for the virus that causes cervical cancer and for diabetes during pregnancy, counseling on domestic violence, and other services.

“These historic guidelines are based on science and existing (medical) literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The new requirements will take effect Jan. 1, 2013, in most cases. Over time, they are expected to apply to most employer-based insurance plans, as well as coverage purchased individually. Plans that are considered “grandfathered” under the law will not be affected, at least initially. Consumers should check with their health insurance plan administrator.

Homage to Marat

I wonder why this song keeps running through my brain:

Scroll down for lyrics.
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‘Feral elite’

Boy, do I like this idea!

If you must

Ezra explains the current deal. Under my new lifestyle regime, I only glanced at it.

Oh, and here’s Marcy on the commission piece of the proposal.

And here’s one of the Obama fan base defending the deal. (The writer glosses over the loaded committee deal. Members of the committee are selected by leadership, three each by Boehner, Pelosi, Reid and McConnell, with no simple majority to act. But of course they’ll be deadlocked 6-6 on everything, which constitutes failure to act, triggering the automatic cuts.)

And here’s TIME magazine telling us, “Don’t worry, be happy!”

The deal

When Obama made his announcement, you’ll notice he says he would have preferred a bigger deal with entitlement “reform” (i.e. Social Security and Medicare cuts). It’s a shitty deal – even the NY Times noticed.

By the way, I’m not calling them “entitlement” programs anymore, that’s right-wing phrasing. They’re national retirement programs. We paid for them, they’re ours:

President Obama said tonight that he and congressional leaders have agreed to a debt ceiling deal just two days before a possible government default that would inflict major damage on the economy.

The full Senate and House must still vote on the agreement, Obama said at a surprise appearance Sunday night in the White House.

“We’re not done yet,” Obama said. “I want to urge members of both parties to do the right thing with your votes.”

As word of the agreement filtered out, some Democratic liberals are already protesting that the plan lacks new tax revenues, while some Republican conservatives said it creates the possibility of too many defense cuts down the line.

Obama said there are some parts he doesn’t like, particularly the lack of new tax revenue, but that is the nature of compromise.

“This process has been messy,” Obama added. “It has taken far too long.”

The proposal calls for a two-tiered $2.1 trillion increase in the debt ceiling while cutting federal spending by more than $2 trillion over the next ten years. Most of the reduced spending will be developed by a special congressional “super committee.”

The plan also calls for automatic spending cuts if the committee cannot agree on a plan, or if Congress rejects its recommendations.

“Everything will be on the table to hold us all accountable,” Obama said.

The Dems take a dive

Taibbi comments on the article “Why Voters Tune Out Democrats”:

I think everything Greenberg says is true — except for the part about it being possible. His list of solutions would make sense as advice to a real political party.

But to a bunch of hired stooges put in office to lend an air of democratic legitimacy to what has essentially become a bureaucratic-oligarchic state, what good does such advice do? Would it have made sense to send the Supreme Soviet under Andropov or Brezhnyev a list of policy ideas for enhancing the civil liberties of Soviet citizens?

The Democrats aren’t failing to stand up to Republicans and failing to enact sensible reforms that benefit the middle class because they genuinely believe there’s political hay to be made moving to the right. They’re doing it because they do not represent any actual voters. I know I’ve said this before, but they are not a progressive political party, not even secretly, deep inside. They just play one on television.

For evidence, all you have to do is look at this latest fiasco.

The Republicans in this debt debate fought like wolves or alley thugs, biting and scratching and using blades and rocks and shards of glass and every weapon they could reach.
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