Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Catnip 5/1/12


Ogawa Plaza, last night at around 8PM. Calm before the storm?

Occupy gets off on a bad foot in SF last night - and fringe elements surrounding Occupy Oakland are taking the blame. Read up on the Black Bloc children and how their presence may destroy the message of what was supposed to be a peaceful movement. What happens today? Good question, but I'm guessing it's what happens tonight that may make the news. Mother Jones is on the story all day, check for updates.

Another reporter notices that the Empire has no clothes. "Washington's leading experts have spoken. The word has come down from the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution. This is a nice way to say Republicans in Congress—every single one—have done everything they can to make Barack Obama's presidency a failure, from day one." See: Clinton, Bill and Gingrich, Newt. And until the Democrats learn how to stand up and fight back, or the moderates somehow regain control of the GOP, this will continue.

TPM explores the crazy that has marked this political season so far. "If you’re a casual news consumer, the natural response to these schizophrenic politics is “WTF?!” Even political junkies have a hard time making sense of it. But there’s a signal buried in all this noise — several, in fact. And as clearly as any polling data, they’re alerting us to the factional politics that will decide what’s likely to be a very close election." That may be the scariest thing of all.

Perfect example: Republicans falsely accuse President Obama of "apologizing for America." Where he has done that? Unknown. Only in their tea-fevered brains. Now, Republicans are complaining that Obama is "politicizing" a great American success story, a decision that was made at considerable risk to his presidency - the death of Bin Laden. Well, which is it, apologist or braggart? Doesn't matter, Republicans will claim the opposite for political purposes only. So, who is really "politicizing" what here?

A polarized Congress. It's going to get worse. Which begs the question, where is the true left, besides Bernie Sanders? Cause he's gonna need some help.

How Mitt Romney's family and campaign connections made big profits on his '08 presidential run. "Neither had experience in private equity. But what the close friends did have was the Romney name and a Rolodex of deep-pocketed potential investors who had backed Mr. Romney’s presidential run — more than enough to start them down that familiar path from politics to profit." Will America notice? Or are we so far gone that no one will care?

Republicans do not have a plan for health care. Repeat: Republicans do not have a plan for health care. Remember the problem we had with health care? The problem that was a huge problem before it became a political weapon would reappear in even greater depth if Obamacare is repealed. Don't forget that.

That might be a problem for Republican Senator Scott Brown, who has a daughter that is enjoying the benefits of Obamacare. Ah, the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.

Ezra, on the how Romney's economic plans would return us to the Days of Bush. "It was, after all, only four short years ago. And it didn’t go so well. The Bush economy is one of the worst on record. Median wages dropped. Poverty worsened. Inequality increased. Surpluses turned into deficits. Monthly job growth was weaker than it had been in any expansion since 1954. Economic growth was sluggish. And that’s before you count the financial crisis that unfurled on his watch. Add the collapse to the equation, and Bush’s record goes from 'not so good' to 'I can’t bear to look.' " Others have called this "Bush on steroids" - doubling down on failed policies. Is that what we want, America?

Scott Walker travels the country to beg Republicans to help fund his attempt to stay in office. They oblige with a whopping $13.2 million - which is money they won't spend on other Republicans. Heh. Stop giggling.

Utilities are ditching coal. Sub-only WSJ, but the first few paragraphs are all you need. "U.S. electric utilities are renegotiating coal contracts and finding other ways to reduce coal deliveries as a mild winter and competition from less-expensive natural gas combine to weaken demand for power plants' longtime staple fuel. Coal consumption by power generators fell 18.8% in the fourth quarter from the preceding quarter and 9.4% from the fourth quarter of 2010, the Energy Information Administration said last week." Wow.

Here's the Occupy MayDay bus, yes, bus, that was hanging out at Lake Merrit last Sunday. I'm off to check out some early morning action at a local park....