9 pm eastern | 6 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd | Olivier Knox – back briefly from presidential primary campaigns – covers Congress and politics for Agence France-Presse, the world’s oldest and third-largest news agency. He updates us on the GOP and Nibbles. Catch our latest ‘What Digby Said’ vid at the bottom of the hour. Follow @OKnox @JayAckroyd Listen live and later on BTR.
Republican presidential candidates are probably more comfortable condemning Cuba than talking about solutions to Florida’s economic problems:
Fidel Castro lambasted the Republican presidential race as the greatest competition of “idiocy and ignorance” the world has ever seen in a column published Wednesday, and also took shots at the news media and foreign governments for seizing on the death of a Cuban prisoner to demand greater respect for human rights.
Castro’s comments came in a long opinion piece carried by official media two days after Republican presidential hopefuls at a debate in Florida presented mostly hard-line stances on what to do about the Communist-run island, and even speculated as to what would happen to the 85-year-old revolutionary leader’s soul when he dies…
In a speech pandering to Florida’s aerospace community ahead of the state’s primary, GOP contender Newt Gingrich made a bold pledge to establish a permanent U.S. base on the moon “by the end of my second term.” He further promised that if he becomes president, America will get a man to Mars “in a remarkably short time.” A budget-conscious President Obama ended the program for a lunar colony and moon trip after NASA reported it didn’t have the money for any part of the plan, “and even if it were to get a budget infusion, the schedule was unworkable.” Gingrich rebutted the charge that he is “grandiose” by comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln, the Wright Brothers and John F. Kennedy. ThinkProgress has previously reported on Gingrich’s curious space fetish, which has included an idea for a “mirror system in space could provide the light equivalent of many full moons” for nighttime driving.
(Reuters) – In July 2009, Roy and Sheila Bowers refinanced the mortgage on their suburban ranch home in Topeka, Kansas. The couple wanted to take advantage of the low interest rates that were all the rage at the time.
Roy, a truck driver, and Sheila, a former hotel housekeeping supervisor, knew their new loan from Wells Fargo would enable them to save $198.86 a month – a nice chunk to help with gas and groceries.
But what the Bowers never imagined was that their old loan, the one Wells Fargo told them was paid off, would resurrect itself, trashing their credit report, scotching their son’s student loans and throwing the whole family into foreclosure. All, they say, even though they didn’t miss a single mortgage payment. Continue Reading »
At one point in the State of the Union address, emphasizing the importance of closing the gap between the haves and have-nots, Obama said, “You can call this class warfare all you want. Most Americans would call that common sense.”
President Obama keeps offering to cut Social Security and Medicare! Bernie Sanders talks to Ed Schultz:
SCHULTZ: Where was he weak tonight?
SEN. SANDERS: Well, I’ll tell you where he was weak. I get nervous when the president talks about working with Republicans about reforming entitlement programs. You know what that really means? Let’s be frank, that means cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid,
SCHULTZ: Are they come someday?
SEN. SANDERS: If he proposes that, I will be leading the opposition against that. Social Security has not contributed one nickel to the deficit because it’s funded by the payroll tax, has a $2.5 trillion surplus, I will defend to –
SCHULTZ: He didn’t say that tonight?
SEN. SANDERS: He didn’t say it, but its code language out there. When you work with Republicans to reform entitlement programs, that’s the code word.
SCHULTZ: Was he not strong enough on the big three tonight?
SEN. SANDERS: Of course he was not strong enough. He should have gotten up there and said, you know what, in the midst of a terrible recession, I promise you we are not going to cut one nickel of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We are going to move toward deficit reduction, we are going to do it in a way that is fair and responsible. Ask the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes and end these absurd corporate loopholes.
Yeah, I caught that. I just blocked it out because I get so tired of arguing with people who accuse me of imagining it.