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‘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.

Thank heavens for baseball……

by Boohunney
Spring has come early down here in Spruill County.
But, “base games” are in full swing for the young. The recreation park behind the house in the other valley is rockin’. The public address system at the park doubles as our tornado siren. I just think that is cool.
Chipper Jones is going to retire after this season. That’s time moving on. Some of us down here have cards of Chipper from when he played on the farm team in Macon.

No matter, baseball is cool. I love going to “Six Flags Over Baseball,” AKA Turner Field in Atlanta. One can actually get in for a dollar. It’s for the people.

I think “Annie Savoy” sums it up well…..

I believe in the Church of Baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn’t work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there’s no guilt in baseball, and it’s never boring… which makes it like sex. There’s never been a ballplayer slept with me who didn’t have the best year of his career. Making love is like hitting a baseball: you just gotta relax and concentrate. Besides, I’d never sleep with a player hitting under .250… not unless he had a lot of RBIs and was a great glove man up the middle. You see, there’s a certain amount of life wisdom I give these boys. I can expand their minds. Sometimes when I’ve got a ballplayer alone, I’ll just read Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman to him, and the guys are so sweet, they always stay and listen. ‘Course, a guy’ll listen to anything if he thinks it’s foreplay. I make them feel confident, and they make me feel safe, and pretty. ‘Course, what I give them lasts a lifetime; what they give me lasts 142 games. Sometimes it seems like a bad trade. But bad trades are part of baseball – now who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God’s sake? It’s a long season and you gotta trust it. I’ve tried ’em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball.

Play ball!

Don’t give up

Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush:

Virtually Speaking tonight

Sunday, April 1 | 9 pm eastern | 6 am pacific |Virtually Speaking Sundays |Joan McCarter – Senior Policy Editor at DailyKos – and Culture of Truth – author of the weekly Bobblespeak Translations, where he satirizes the Sunday Morning talking heads – discuss their most recent work. Plus this week’s Most Ridiculous Moment. Follow @JoanMcCarter @Bobblespeak Listen live and later on BTR

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