Monday, March 5, 9 pm eastern | 6 pm pacific | Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd from the prior Thursday. (Rerun for syndication purposes)Jay talks with filmmakers Frances Causey and Don Goldmacher about Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? the night before it opens at The Quad Cinema in NYC for a week long run, against the backdrop of a growing worldwide populist democratic movement. Follow @HeistDoc @FCausey @donnyg1941 @JayAckroydListen
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Sunday warned an 11-year-old boy that the world would be one step closer to nuclear war if President Barack Obama was allowed another term in office.
“If Barack Obama gets re-elected, Iran will have a nuclear weapon and the world will change if that’s the case,” the former Massachusetts governor told a crowd in Snellville, Georgia.
“This president failed to speak out when the dissidents took the streets in Tehran, he had nothing to say,” Romney declared. “This is a president who has failed to put in place crippling sanctions against Iran. He’s also failed to communicate that military options are on the table and in fact in our hand. And that it’s unacceptable to America for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. I will have those military options, I will take those crippling sanctions and put them in place, and I will speak out to the Iranian people about the peril of them becoming nuclear.”
Compare and contrast: While Beltway insiders insist there is nothing more we could have done to heal the economy, the Shrill One (who, I seem to remember, is supposed to know something about economics) is pointing out the effect of providing only inadequate aid to the states.
Now, it’s certainly true that the Republicans continue to obstruct any of the president’s efforts. (Hell, you just know when Gov. Kasich turns down federal aid for his tornado-devastated state that more Republican posturing on the debt is imminent.) When Congress balks at raising the debt ceiling, the administration has some real problems.
But Obama doesn’t have to encourage them. He doesn’t have to lead cheers for the budget hawks. He doesn’t have to keep talking about how the U.S. needs to cut, cut, cut to live within its means, just like Americans do when they budget at their kitchen table.
Because here’s the thing: Americans don’t usually pay cash for their houses, their new cars or their kids’ college educations. We frequently go into debt for our long-term good, and he’s just undermining the public perception of a nation hopelessly in debt when he talks like that. (Bug, or feature?)
I have this habit of getting off the highway when there’s a traffic jam. I just can’t stand sitting in traffic, so I get off at the nearest exit and find my way via alternate routes. But here’s the thing: Usually it’s faster to sit in traffic and wait it out, but I’m too impatient.
I wonder if President Obama is doing the same thing. Maybe he’s so eager to present the appearance of progress that he’ll settle for any damn thing at all – much to our detriment:
Under President Obama, however, the dire fiscal condition of state and local governments — the result of a sustained slump, which in turn was caused largely by that private debt explosion before 2008 — has led to forced spending cuts. The fiscal straits of lower-level governments could and should have been alleviated by aid from Washington, which remains able to borrow at incredibly low interest rates. But this aid was never provided on a remotely adequate scale.
This policy malpractice is doing double damage to America. On one side, it’s helping lose the future — because that’s what happens when you neglect education and public investment. At the same time, it’s hurting us right now, by helping keep growth low and unemployment high.
We’re talking big numbers here. If government employment under Mr. Obama had grown at Reagan-era rates, 1.3 million more Americans would be working as schoolteachers, firefighters, police officers, etc., than are currently employed in such jobs.
And once you take the effects of public spending on private employment into account, a rough estimate is that the unemployment rate would be 1.5 percentage points lower than it is, or below 7 percent — significantly better than the Reagan economy at this stage. Continue Reading »
Well! It’s nice to see at least one Wall St. banker face criminal charges! He allegedly decided to stab his cab driver for the sheer audacity of asking for the agreed-upon fare. Geeze, I hope the court doesn’t hold it against the guy. After all, he’s been living in the 1% bubble for a long time, he probably doesn’t know any better. As to the racial slurs? As Mayor Bloomberg keeps reminding residents, New Yorkers should be grateful just to have the bankers spending money in their town. Threats and stab wounds seem a small price to pay for that privilege.
A mild-mannered, hardworking New York City cabby lamented to The Post yesterday that he was insulted, demeaned and threatened by a boozy bigwig who refused to pay him, screaming: “Go back to your own country . . . I’m going to kill you.”
Mohamed Ammar said investment banker W. Bryan Jennings — a $2-million-a-year fat cat for Morgan Stanley — went from being a sweet gentleman he picked up in Midtown to a surly, knife-wielding “drunk” who stiffed him on the $204 fare when they got to Jennings’ Darien, Conn., home.
“I said, ‘You have to pay me. It’s the law,’ ” Ammar recalled at his Queens home yesterday, where he lives with his wife and three children. “He says, ‘What law? You should go back to your own f–king country.’
“I say, ‘This is my f–king country, excuse my language. I’m an American citizen!’ ” said the driver, who is originally from Egypt.
“That’s when he pulled out the penknife . . . He leaned forward and yelled, ‘I’m gonna kill you, motherf–ker!” Ammar said.
“I saw his hand balled up into a fist and I thought he was going to punch me,” the cabby said.
“I put my hand out to protect, and that is when I saw the penknife. He went for my neck first but ended up slashing my hand many times as I was fighting him off . . . My hand was bleeding pretty bad” as Jennings fled on foot, Ammar said.
“He was drunk and out of control, and he could have killed me. That was one of the scariest moments of my life.”
Ammar needed six stitches to close his wounds.
On This Week with George Stephanopoulos, it’s a veritable free-for-all over Rush Limbaugh and the contraceptive debate. You got to see the full range of Villager conventional wisdom – from A to B! Let’s listen as they discuss Rush Limbaugh’s non-apology apology to college student Sandra Fluke:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Fair to say, I think, George, we’re going to see her picture in Democrat ads as well. I can only imagine the pressure that Rush Limbaugh was on yesterday to force that apology. You know, the advertisers came out and started to pull their ads. I would imagine also Republican leaders are calling and saying, get this issue off our backs.
WILL: Well, it would have been nice if they had shared that with the larger public, the Republican leaders. Instead, Mr. Boehner comes out and says, Rush’s language was inappropriate. Using the salad fork for your entrée, that is inappropriate.
Points for style to Mr. Will! Good one, George! As we know, using the proper fork is an important Beltway tool.
WILL: I mean, and Rick Santorum says, well, what he said was absurd but an entertainer is allowed to be absurd. No, it is the responsibility of conservatives to police the right and its excesses, just as the liberals unfailingly fail to police the excesses on their own side.
And it was depressing because what it indicates is that the Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh. They want to bomb Iran, but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh.
“Excesses” of the liberals? I would be so happy to see some. Where are they?
NOONAN: Look, what Rush Limbaugh said was crude, rude, even piggish, it was just unacceptable, he ought to be called on it. I’m glad he has apologized. I guess there will be a debate now about the nature of the apology. But what he said was also destructive.
It confused the issue. It played into this trope that the Republicans have a war on women. No, they don’t, but he made it look they that way. It confused the larger issue which is the real issue, which is “Obama-care,” and its incursions against religious freedoms, which is a serious issue. It was not about this young lady at Georgetown.
So what he said was deeply destructive and unhelpful and he ought to be called on it.
Oh, Nooners. Surely you’re not drinking this early in the day? There are no incursions into “religious freedoms,” no matter what those voices in your head tell you. That nice Dr. Dean tries to explain it to you:
DEAN: War on religious freedom is an important thing inside the Beltway among elite people, it’s like the Fourth Amendment. It’s a good argument for elite people. An attack on whether women can buy birth control pills or not, and have their insurance pay for it, every woman in America understands that.
This is a war on women. They’ve been warring on woman on abortion rights, now they’re going after them on birth control rights. There’s not a woman in the United States of America that doesn’t get what the Republicans are doing.
And Mitt Romney is going to have to live with this. And he can’t get out of it until the primary season is over. And that is his problem.
A woman testifying at a hearing in Lumpkin County, GA to determine whether a restraining order should be issued against a deputy she had accused of rape and assault with a handgun. wasn’t being very cooperative, possibly because she was having second thoughts about pursuing the charges. So, the judge pulls his pistol out from under his robe, offers it to her and says, “You might as well shoot your lawyer.”
The judge has since decided to step down from the bench. Here’s the story.
Wnere every sperm is sacred! From Wilmington DE, a veritable national shrine to corporate personhood (since so many businesses incorporate in the tax-friendly haven), comes some delightful news: They passes a resolution to grant personhood to eggs and sperm, too. But no, this isn’t fundie madness but a protest against recent attempts to defund birth control on “moral” grounds:
The Wilmington City Council has a message for men — sperm are people, too.
The council for Delaware’s largest city passed a resolution by an 8-4 vote Thursday calling on the Delaware legislature, other state legislatures and the U.S. Congress to pass laws granting “personhood” rights to eggs and sperm. The resolution was authored by councilwoman Loretta Walsh as a protest in the current battle over women’s health care access.
“[E]ach ‘egg person’ and each ‘sperm person’ should be deemed equal in the eyes of the government and be subject to the same laws and regulations as any other dependent minor and be protected against abuse, neglect or abandonment by the parent or guardian,” says the resolution. “[L]aws should be enacted by all legislative bodies in the United States to promote equal representation, and should potentially include laws in defense of ‘personhood,’ forbidding every man from destroying his semen.”
The vote came the same day that the U.S. Senate voted down an amendment that would have given employers the right to refuse any health care service to employees for moral reasons.
Walsh isn’t the first lawmaker to introduce such a measure. Sen. Constance Johnson, a Democratic state senator from Oklahoma, introduced and later withdrew an amendment to a “personhood” bill that would have given zygotes the same rights as adults. “However, any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child,” reads the amendment.