Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Catnip 8/15/12: There's A Reason


Sign above a coffee shop in Oakland. Kind of ties in with our first note...

New demographic to target: The Unlikely Voter. USA Today has the best story of the day, taking a look at those who are eligible and more often than not registered to vote, but don't bother showing up at the polls. There are 90 million of them, 7 million more than our three biggest states (California, Texas and New York) combined. "A nationwide USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll of people who are eligible to vote but aren't likely to do so finds that these stay-at-home Americans back Obama's re-election over Republican Mitt Romney by more than 2-1. Two-thirds of them say they are registered to vote. Eight in 10 say the government plays an important role in their lives." Maybe make it mandatory? Would hate to do that, but c'mon people. It's your country too.

The Romney-Ryan team will not be releasing specifics on their budget plans before the election. Shades of Snyder and other Republicans in 2010 that ran for office and wouldn't tell you what they were going to do once they got there. How's that working out for everybody? "It’s official: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have both confirmed in interviews that they will not be revealing the specifics of their tax plan before the election. Which is another way of saying that these two self-styled deficit hawks have no intention of revealing how their plan would actually reduce the deficit, until they’re in the White House. Voters — and, presumably, the news media — are expected to take this on faith." We are going to find out if they can get away with it on the national level - I'm guessing no - but stranger things have happened.

Just continue to lie. Mitt Romney gets called out on the welfare claim. He continues to lie. Now, Mitt Romney gets called out on the Medicare claim. He continues to lie. Too many people to count have called his budget a fantasy, and he continues to lie. Has there ever been a campaign that has been so brazenly dishonest and dishonorable in history? Seriously. We need to check into this.

Michael Tomasky explains why Republicans have to lie - they wouldn't get elected if they told the truth. "What we're going to do here is make sure society's very richest people have a lot more money. Our theory is they will spend it and that will help the whole economy. History hasn't been kind to this idea, but it's our theory and we're sticking to it. These are the people who pay us to run, after all."

Krugman, on how the media coverage will make or break the entire election - and perhaps the country. "So, a memo to the news media: you have now become players in this campaign, not just reporters. Mitt Romney isn’t seeking a debate on the issues; on the contrary, he’s betting that your gullibility and vanity will let him avoid a debate on the issues, including the issue of his own fitness for the presidency. I guess we’ll see if it works."

Worst. Congress. Ever. Another good story from USA Today find that this is the least production Congress since the end of WWII. Why does that make it the worst ever? Because of the need for action created by the Great Recession they that have failed to address, obstruction that hurt the country for political purposes only. "Just 61 bills have become law to date in 2012 out of 3,914 bills that have been introduced by lawmakers, or less than 2% of all proposed laws... In 2011, after Republicans took control of the U.S. House, Congress passed just 90 bills into law.... These statistics make the 112th Congress, covering 2011-12, the least productive two-year gathering on Capitol Hill since the end of World War II." And it shows.

Bill Gates hands a $100,000 prize to the solar-powered toilet. Don't laugh, it's an important development to those areas of the world that do not have complex sewer systems and the water needed to run them available. "About 2.6 billion people, or 40 percent of world's population -- mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia -- lack access to safe sanitation and are forced to defecate in the open, according to Gates," and that makes for huge health problems and accounts for the deaths of 1.5 million children under the age of 5 every year. So, pants off to you, sir.

Off to deal...