Archives for January, 2009
What, you were expecting Jessica Simpson?
Still there was Fox News' Casey Stegall hot on the case today from LA. But notice something missing from the report? That's right -- any actual liberals who are advocating such a thing. So Stegall gives this lame excuse:
But not a single lawmaker who has called for a return of the Fairness Doctrine rules, when offered this national platform, would go on camera to talk about it.
That's right, those evil liberals are so sneaky they're planning this but not talking about it. Though you'd think he'd at least be able to name one of those "single lawmakers."
I'm sure the logical reality -- that in fact there are no liberals who are proposing such a thing anywhere either in Congress or at the FCC -- didn't cross Stegall's mind.
Or at least, they didn't let it ruin an otherwise perfectly good storyline.
Fox News, Fake News. What's the diff?
Americans United For Change, the labor-backed political group that is currently campaigning for President Obama's stimulus package, has releaased a round of radio ads tying the GOP to Rush Limbaugh, Obama's loudest critic on this issue. They're targeting Republican Senators in Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
NARRATOR: Listen to what Rush Limbaugh said about President Obama's Agenda and his Jobs Package.
LIMBAUGH: I HOPE HE FAILS!
NARRATOR: The Obama Jobs bill overwhelmingly passed the House.... But not one Republican voted yes. Every Republican member of the House chose to take Rush Limbaugh's advice. Every Republican voted with Limbaugh....and against creating 4 million new American jobs.
We can understand why a extreme partisan like Rush Limbaugh wants President Obama's Jobs program to fail....but the Members of Congress elected to represent the citizens in their districts?... that's another matter.
Now the Obama plan goes to the Senate.... And the question is:
Will our Senator, ___ ,side with Rush Limbaugh too...
LIMBAUGH: I HOPE HE FAILS!
NARRATOR: OR will he reject the partisanship and failed economic policies of the past,
and stand up for the people of ___
In a week that saw Wall Street treat itself to $18.4 billion in bonuses (while receiving billions in taxpayer money), and both President Obama ("outrageous") and Sen Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) ("idiots") lambaste them for it, CNBC's loudmouth commentator, and Wall Street apologist, Charlie Gasparino picks an especially inopportune time to put his foot in his mouth.
Gasparino: The bonus question, we shouldn't be talking about it. It's a stupid, fucking...it's a stupid debate.
Deutsch: Wow, did he?
Gasparino: I'm sorry.
Republished from this morning due to technical difficulties.
The Capitol Gang looks back at the Clinton budget plan and the resulting economic growth. Nice to see that the GOP hacks are still using the exact same arguments!
So Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, one of the bluer of the old Bush Dogs, is helping enable Republican obstructionism in the Senate:
According to Fox News, Nelson convened a meeting in his Senate office today with Senate Republicans and some Democrats who are seeking “common ground on how they can improve the $819 billion economic stimulus bill.” Nelson’s meeting included Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).
Here's what he told Fox:
NELSON: I don’t know, I don’t even know how many Democrats will vote for it as it stands today because a lot of my colleagues are not decided. They’re undecided on the bill as it is right now. Fortunately, we don’t have to take the vote on it right now. We have an opportunity to make some improvements.
He later came on Andrea Mitchell's program at MSNBC, in the clip above, and tried to explain further:
Nelson: So what we have to do is what the president just said in the last clip, is we have to create jobs. And if you take a look at the stimulus package, there are those programs that are there for infrastructure, that are there to develop construction, that will create jobs, and those have a robust nature to them in creating jobs. Unfortunately, there are other parts to the program that are borderline, marginal, when it comes to job creation. There's no question that there's a lot of spending in the bill, but what we really need to do is focus on what it does for jobs.
According to the Washington Post, two programs in particular are the object of Nelson's displeasure:
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who remains undecided about the bill, said he opposes money going to research projects at the National Institutes of Health and about $13 billion for Pell grants that help students pay for college. Nelson says the measures are worthy but do not belong in legislation designed to stimulate the economy.
But as Red Rogue at DailyKos notes:
Earlier today, President Obama released state by state job improvement numbers should the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Program be implemented. According to the figures, Nebraska would see an employment boom of 19,220 jobs or a -1.3% drop in the unemployment rate.
Those numbers alone make the program worthy of support.
I'd love to put something in this diary telling you to "Call Senator Nelson and demand he vote for the bill!" but it wouldn't have any effect. Honestly I think Nelson is toeing that line yet again in order to shore up support amongst conservatives in Nebraska. It's no different than earlier this week when Nelson voted "yea" on a killer amendment on the SCHIP bill -- it's all for show because last night Nelson voted for SCHIP.
Indeed, Digby has already observed that this really is just so much posturing:
This may be kabuki. McCaskill is a super Obama friend and may be playing a role on his behalf to help him gain a handful of Republican votes so they can call it bipartisan. (Let's hope they don't give away the store to do it...) But, the end result is the same, whether Obama is part of it or not. Conservative values and economic shibboleths will have been validated and going forward we will have to re-fight the battle from square one.
Even Nelson seems to acknowledge as much to Mitchell:
Nelson: There are people who think we have a choice here. I'm not sure we have a choice. But I do think there are choices within this package that we can make.
Unfortunately, Nelson's way of making that point is all about enabling Conservative talking points -- which they will then use to explain their ideological obstructionism. Nice job, Senator.
Jerrold Nadler on Countdown discussing what will be done if Karl Rove again refuses to honor subpoenas and appear before Congress.
The economy shrank at an accelerating pace late last year, the government reported on Friday, adding to the urgency of a stimulus package capable of bringing the country back from a recession that has only deepened since then.
The actual decline in the gross domestic product — at a 3.8 percent annual rate — fell short of the 5 to 6 percent that most economists had expected for the fourth quarter. But that was because consumption collapsed so quickly that goods piled up in inventory, unsold but counted as part of the nation’s output.
“The drop in spending was so fast, so rapid, that production could not be cut fast enough,” said Nigel Gault, chief domestic economist at HIS Global Insight. "That is happening now, and the contraction in the current quarter, as a result, will probably exceed 5 percent."
The dismal result, and the likelihood of more of the same through the spring, are fueling discussion among policymakers and politicians over the best way to spend the soon-to-be-authorized federal money.