Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Catnip 6/12/12: You Can Look Inside Another World


Fee Waybill of The Tubes. Forgot they were a SF band. Hey, the 80s were a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away....

Some news:

Flip-flop alert. Mitt Romney, after having his surrogates double-down yesterday on cutting "teachers, cops and firefighters", is now walking the whole thing back. "That’s a very strange accusation. Of course, teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen. So obviously that’s completely absurd." Actually, the federal government does pay for teachers, cops and firefighters in the form of federal money to the states, so Mitt is the one who is being "completely absurd" in this latest statement. And he meant what he said in the first place. (see: Ryan budget embraced)

And for more on the "completely absurd" front, we have Republicans like Bobby Jindal saying things like "I suspect that many in the Obama administration really don’t believe in private enterprise. At best, they see business as something to be endured so that that it can provide tax money for government programs." Which is over-the-top utter bullshit, of course. Ezra Klein calls him out on it.

Stiglitz. Nail. Head. "Economic inequality feeds into inequalities of political power, leading to still more economic inequality. The U.S. is headed down the path that so many dysfunctional societies have traveled — divided societies in which the rich and poor live in different worlds. The rich residing in gated communities, with their own parks and schools. We know what happens to these societies. It’s not something to which we should aspire. There is an alternative. But will our politics allow it? Will those at the top come to realize that a house divided against itself cannot stand — that this level of inequality is not in their enlightened self-interest?" I dunno, have they ever?

49%. That's the number that think Republicans are deliberately stalling the economy to defeat President Obama. They would be right.

Voting. It's happening today Arizona, Maine, Virginia, Nevada, North Dakota and South Carolina. All eyes are on Arizona as the election to fill Gabby Gifford's seat takes place; a recent poll shows Democrat Ron Barber up big.

The NGA and the State Budget folks are going to release a survey today that shows Medicare costs are eating the recovery in state budgets. "The biggest culprit has been Medicaid. State spending on the joint federal-state health-care program for the poor surged by 20 percent this year, following a rise of 23 percent in fiscal 2011." That's what happens when people can't afford health care. They also put off visits to the doctor and dentist, too.

The rabid followers at FOX really, really, really want to see a witch-hunt over Eric Holder. The Justice Department is not amused. Neither is the rest of America, because this story just can't seem to get any traction, no matter how loud the crazies scream about it. Funny how House Republicans have time for this, but no time for job creation legislation...

Batteries are hanging in there. A123 has a big announcement today on a new technology: "The advance uses a new chemistry that could permit the creation of a simpler, lighter, longer-lasting battery pack that does not require a system to cool or heat it. The success or failure of the new technology may well determine the fate of A123. It will also render an early verdict on Mr. Obama’s broader push to promote electric cars and build a domestic industry to develop and manufacture advanced batteries to run them." The industry is developing in fits and starts as all industries do. A123 announced they plan to hire 400 new workers just the other day as business on grid operations and mass transit options picks up.

Running late, gotta go.... one parting shot of Prairie Prince of The Tubes, still one of the best drummers around.