Friday, June 08, 2012

Catnip 6/8/12: Baby, It's Hot Outside


The top of the AT&T ramps to the upper deck. If I have one complaint about the place, it's the long and twisting path you have to take to get to the top - but once you get there... WOW. The view is amazing. Worth the climb.

One more day until the weekend getaway...

My hero Steve Benen nails the latest Romney lie - and believe it or not, Mitt keeps raising the bar higher on just how far he can push these falsehoods. Check out this absurdity: "America is on the cusp of having a government-run economy. President Obama is transforming America into something very different than the land of the free and the land of opportunity." Um, no. Not even close. Benen: "But Romney is creating a twisted fantasy land, ascribing views to Obama that are simply made up. Government is not poised to control the American economy; the free-enterprise system is not at risk. I care that Romney is trying to deceive the public, but I care even more about how he's trying to deceive the public -- in this case, by peddling incoherent nonsense." I would describe it as a pernicious and deliberate attempt to mislead the American public and hurt the American economy. And once again, not a peep from the mainstream press about this insanity.

Fareed Zakaria weighs in on Romney this morning, and comes to the same conclusion that all sane people do: Mitt's prescription for what will jump-start the economy, as in, "more tax cuts", is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong: "Why can we be sure of this? Because that is what we have done for the past three years. For those who think President Obama’s policies have done little to produce growth, keep in mind that the single largest piece of his policies — in dollar terms — has been tax cuts." Zakaria proceeds to list all the tax cuts we have had going back to Bush, reports the results, "The years 2000 to 2007 were the period of the weakest job growth in the United States since the Great Depression," AND we ballooned the deficit. Why does anyone think "more of the same" will work? That includes you too, Mr. President. And certain Democratic Senators.

"This Week in Dark Money", a must-read from Mother Jones. See how much these guys hauled in, which charts and everything.

Nate Silver works his magic on the presidential race and the electoral college, and comes up with what could be the overlooked state that might hold the fate of the nation in its hands. Sure, Ohio and Virginia can make or break either candidate. But if things go as expected.... "If there is an unheralded state that could be in play this year, it might be Oregon. Oregon has been sparsely polled, but the most recent survey found a tight race there, and the state has been extremely competitive in the past — like in 2000 when Al Gore won it by less than a full percentage point." Interesting.

Fortunately for Oregon, they are not being bombarded with the never-ending propaganda machine, but pity the nine states that are getting blasted. The NY Times takes a look at the media markets that the campaigns figure are key, and comes to this conclusion: "With so many resources focused on persuading an ever-shrinking pool of swing voters like those here in Nevada, the 2012 election is likely to go down in history as the one in which the most money was spent reaching the fewest people." We should give those people a medal for their endurance.

You want to compare President Obama's recovery now with President Reagan's recovery back in 1984? Well, we are going to need to do a lot more of that "government spending" to catch up with Ronnie. "Under one president, real per capita government spending at that point was 14.4 percent higher than four years previously; under the other, less than half as much, just 6.4 percent. O.K., by now many readers have probably figured out the trick here: Reagan, not Obama, was the big spender." Ahh, but as we know by now, the myth has always trumped the reality that was "the 80s", but those of us who lived it remember it well.

Happy Birthday today to Gabby Giffords. Looks like she may start a PAC of her own.

What climate change? The U.S. is having the warmest year on record. HuffPo had a scary story yesterday from a couple of scientists published in Nature, about how we may be close to the tipping point, and there may be no turning back very soon. "Barnosky and his colleagues reviewed research on climate change, ecology and Earth's tipping points that break the camel's back, so to speak. At certain thresholds, putting more pressure on the environment leads to a point of no return, Barnosky said. Suddenly, the planet responds in unpredictable ways, triggering major global transitions." Well, then. Enjoy today.

With that, I'm off to the world that awaits...