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The war on women continues

In Wisconsin:

GRAND CHUTE — A homemade explosive device placed outside a Planned Parenthood clinic on Sunday ignited a fire that caused minor damage to an examination room.

Police today continue to investigate after the fire at the clinic at 3800 N. Gillett St.

Firefighters were called Sunday about 7:40 p.m. to check an alarm and in turn contacted police. The device, which had been placed on an outside windowsill, exploded and ignited a small fire that burned out prior to the arrival of firefighters.

The Ryan budget

God, how I hate the Beltway establishment that’s anointed this little pissant as some kind of public intellectual. He’s just another trickle-down enthusiast, and we all know what trickles down:

Security over privacy

I know you are all very surprised!

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court has ruled that jailers may subject people arrested for minor offenses to invasive strip searches, siding with security needs over privacy rights.

By a 5-4 vote Monday, the court ruled against a New Jersey man who complained that strip searches in two county jails violated his civil rights.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his majority opinion for the court’s conservative justices that when people are going to be put into the general jail population, “courts must defer to the judgment of correctional officials unless the record contains substantial evidence showing their policies are an unnecessary or unjustified response to problems of jail security.”

In a dissenting opinion joined by the court’s liberals, Justice Stephen Breyer said strip searches improperly “subject those arrested for minor offenses to serious invasions of their personal privacy.”

Albert Florence was forced to undress and submit to strip searches following his arrest on a warrant for an unpaid fine, though the fine actually had been paid. Even if the warrant had been valid, failure to pay a fine is not a crime in New Jersey.

But Kennedy focused on the fact that Florence was held with other inmates in the general population. In concurring opinions, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito said the decision left open the possibility of an exception to the rule and might not apply to someone held apart from other inmates.

‘Repeal and replace’

Such shameless liars, these GOPers.

Pink slime economics

Krugman points out what Brad DeLong was saying more directly: Namely, why would you make painful cuts to social programs in the name of addressing the deficit when the Republicans will blow it all up with tax cuts for the rich the minute they gain control? It’s what they’ve always done:

So the Ryan budget is a fraud; Mr. Ryan talks loudly about the evils of debt and deficits, but his plan would actually make the deficit bigger even as it inflicted huge pain in the name of deficit reduction. But is his budget really the most fraudulent in American history? Yes, it is.

To be sure, we’ve had irresponsible and/or deceptive budgets in the past. Ronald Reagan’s budgets relied on voodoo, on the claim that cutting taxes on the rich would somehow lead to an explosion of economic growth. George W. Bush’s budget officials liked to play bait and switch, low-balling the cost of tax cuts by pretending that they were only temporary, then demanding that they be made permanent. But has any major political figure ever premised his entire fiscal platform not just on totally implausible spending projections but on claims that he has a secret plan to raise trillions of dollars in revenue, a plan that he refuses to share with the public?

What’s going on here? The answer, presumably, is that this is what happens when extremists gain complete control of a party’s discourse: all the rules get thrown out the window. Indeed, the hard right’s grip on the G.O.P. is now so strong that the party is sticking with Mr. Ryan even though it’s paying a significant political price for his assault on Medicare.

Now, the House Republican budget isn’t about to become law as long as President Obama is sitting in the White House. But it has been endorsed by Mr. Romney. And even if Mr. Obama is reelected, the fraudulence of this budget has important implications for future political negotiations.

Bear in mind that the Obama administration spent much of 2011 trying to negotiate a so-called Grand Bargain with Republicans, a bipartisan plan for deficit reduction over the long term. Those negotiations ended up breaking down, and a minor journalistic industry has emerged as reporters try to figure out how the breakdown occurred and who was responsible.

But what we learn from the latest Republican budget is that the whole pursuit of a Grand Bargain was a waste of time and political capital. For a lasting budget deal can only work if both parties can be counted on to be both responsible and honest — and House Republicans have just demonstrated, as clearly as anyone could wish, that they are neither.

Big media help push big tax lie

by Odd Man Out
Sen. Orrin Hatch complains that the U.S. has “the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world” — a lie by omission — and the MSM lets him get away with it. More here.

[Reposted from yesterday. Link was bad.]

Trouble with a capital T

And that rhymes with P, and that stands for pool! How they sell deficit panic to America…

Seniors still paying for school

I can’t even imagine what a burden this must be:

New research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that Americans 60 and older still owe about $36 billion in student loans, providing a rare window into the dynamics of student debt. More than 10 percent of those loans are delinquent. As a result, consumer advocates say, it is not uncommon for Social Security checks to be garnished or for debt collectors to harass borrowers in their 80s over student loans that are decades old.

That even seniors remain saddled with student loans highlights what a growing chorus of lawmakers, economists and financial experts say has become a central conflict in the nation’s higher education system: The long-touted benefits of a college degree are being diluted by rising tuition rates and the longevity of debt.

Joe Bageant

A new collection of his essays. I still miss him something fierce.

An April Fools’ Day song

by Odd Man Out
I’ve seen the bright lights of Memphis and the Commodore Hotel/And underneath a street lamp I met a Southern belle/ Well, she took me to the river where she cast her spell/And in that southern moonlight she sang the song so well

If you’ll be my Dixie Chicken, I’ll be your Tennessee Lamb/And we can walk together down in Dixieland…

Little Feat specialized in California-style New Orleans funk, and I mean that in a good way. These guys could play. “Dixie Chicken,” a short story in verse form, is by Lowell George, the heart of the band, a singer/slide guitarist who died way too young. Check out the guest stars on this live version.

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