Thursday, June 07, 2012

Catnip 6/7/12: Back to Making Stuff Up


Oakland's City Center in the twilight. It's a fancy little strip downtown, with sculptures and waterfalls and tables for outdoor eating and such. Obviously new construction (compared to older brick buildings in the city) and built to serve all the office folks down there, because for the most part it's closed up nights and weekends - which is unfortunate for me, because there are a lot of cute shops and restaurants I would like to try...

News. Is Wisconsin over yet? Hope so.

"Romney Just Making Stuff Up Now." You mean there was a time when he wasn't? The latest Romney lie, based on a line in a book that Mitt has totally twisted around, is that Obama slowed down the recovery on purpose to pass Obamacare. Yeah, it's that incredibly stupid: "Not only is it false for Romney to say Obama 'knowingly slowed down our recovery,' it’s not even true that Obama knowingly passed up a chance to accelerate the recovery. The notion that anybody in the administration believed that the health care law would actually slow down the recovery is complete fiction. It does not appear in the book anywhere and it’s pretty obviously untrue." We need the mass media to start pointing out that Romney lies all the time. About everything.

The Secret Congress. Word is that a dozen in the Senate's brain trust (stop laughing) will be meeting to put together a deal on the budget that won't be announced or introduced until after the election. Which kind of defeats the purpose of elections, but anyway... "Above all else, they say, these summer talks must be done secretly and never be made public for fear that any new proposals could get swept into the highly toxic partisan atmosphere ahead of a historic presidential election. The secret talks might allow Democrats to entertain deeper cuts to entitlements than they usually would, and Republicans could talk more candidly about increasing tax revenues — without either side getting blasted in the political arena." Courage!

The stimulus worked, says the CBO and the vast majority of economists, but never let the facts get in the way of good Republican attack spin. "Most economists not only think it should have worked; they think it did work, Elmendorf replied. CBO’s own analysis found that the package added as many as 3.3 million jobs to the economy during the second quarter of 2010, and may have prevented the nation from lapsing back into recession." Will the Democrats grab that number and flaunt it around? Any guesses?

House Republicans. Energy bills. All sorts of weirdness going on there. Once again they refused to cut funding, this time for nuclear and fossil fuel research, just as they refused to cut renewable energy funding last week. Then, they introduced another drill, baby, drill, proposal that will go nowhere. Yesterday, they actually passed the $32 billion Energy and Water Bill with increased spending - but asks for cuts elsewhere that the WH will not accept. And on we go.

Europe, Europe, Europe. What would you like to know about Europe? Ezra has a huge rundown today in Wonkbook, and points the finger right at Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank. Go read. And apparently Krugman has started a war with Estonia, but I'm guessing we already won 'cause I'm not hearing anything about it on the TV.

With labor being tremendously outmatched monetarily in Wisconsin, can we now stop comparing labor money for the Democrats as being equal to Super Pac money for the Republicans? We are going to find out, and chances are the Republicans will continue on with their big, bad, bogeyman labor mantra, but here's the reality: "No, the real underlying story is that unions are losing their institutional legitimacy in modern America. The problem isn’t that most people hate unions. The problem for unions is that most people don’t care about them, or think about them, at all." The Jedi are all but extinct...

Can small donors make up the difference? Not likely, but it is rather heartening (and revealing) that once again Obama is pulling the donations from the average Joe at a bigger clip than Moneybags Mitt. It's a sign of enthusiasm - the base for Obama has it, the base (other than the billionaries) for Romney doesn't. "As of the end of April, 43 percent of the donors who contributed to the Obama campaign gave $200 or less, generating a total of $88.5 million, according to the Campaign Finance Institute, a nonpartisan Washington research group. By contrast, only 10 percent of those who gave to former governor Mitt Romney’s campaign had made donations of $200 or less, accounting for $9.8 million."

That's all for now...