Monday, December 3, 2012

No Commentary Required 12/3/12

Here is a collection of stuff that I find interesting.

Stuff that pisses me off about the media

Yeah, this is a small one, but its indicative of how journalists have no perspective.

NYT writer Jackie Calmes is trying to be helpful by explaining the so-called "fiscal cliff" to readers. But then in the middle of the article, there's this:
The measures from the 2011 [debt ceiling] deal are set to take effect at the same time as the changes to jobless benefits, the alternative minimum tax adjustment and the Medicare “doc fix,” and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts — a confluence that the two parties did not fully expect back in August 2011.
Whether or not the Republicans expected that confluence is debatable. But President Obama certainly did. Here's what the White House  fact sheet said the day the debt ceiling deal was announced.
The Bush tax cuts expire as of 1/1/2013, the same date that the spending sequester would go into effect. These two events together will force balanced deficit reduction. Absent a balanced deal, it would enable the President to use his veto pen to ensure nearly $1 trillion in additional deficit reduction by not extending the high-income tax cuts.
That's important because it demonstrates how President Obama and the Democrats created the leverage they have in the current negotiations. Not being clear about how one thing leads to the next is why too many people miss seeing the long game.

Stuff that triggers an "I told you so"
To the degree that Johnson's words reflect Obama's intentions, this represents a huge step backward for U.S. efforts against terror. Treating terrorists as criminals is a re-adoption of Bill Clinton's approach, and that was the very approach that resulted in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Stupid stuff I think about

Sometimes I wonder what Glenn Greenwald will find to write about when President Obama ends the indefinite war.

On the other hand, sometimes I wonder what Sen. Mitch McConnell's new goal will be now that the one about ensuring that Obama is a one-term president was such a massive failure. It looks like perhaps he'll replace that one with attempts to ensure that seniors in this country experience painful cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Seriously...that's all I can come up with because his goal certainly doesn't have anything to do with balancing the federal budget.
So I thought I’d look at the dollars and cents — and even I am somewhat shocked. Those tax hikes would raise $1.6 trillion over the next decade; according to the CBO, raising the Medicare age would save $113 billion in federal funds over the next decade.

So, the non-serious proposal would reduce the deficit 14 times as much as the serious proposal.

I guess we have to understand the definition of serious: a proposal is only serious if it punishes the poor and the middle class.
OK, so perhaps my problem is in trying to come up with a rational explanation for the Republican position. That's why I called this section "stupid stuff I think about."

Stuff that's funny...but oh so true

What more can I say?

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