Tuesday Reads: Republican Freak Show, Obama’s Hypocrisy, and Other News

Yikes! We're in big trouble.

Good Morning!!

Last night several of the Republican presidential candidates participated in a debate in New Hampshire, hosted by CNN. John King was the moderator. I have never heard anyone talk that fast before. I could barely understand what he was saying. He also talked over much of what the candidates said, telling them they were going too long. For some reason, CNN only allowed 30 second answers. Here are some media reactions to what the candidates said.

The NYT Caucus blog: Fact Checking the Republican Debate

On economic policy:

Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, said that while President Obama didn’t start the recession, “he made it worse, and longer.” Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, called President Obama “anti-jobs.”

While it is true that unemployment is far worse today than Mr. Obama’s advisers initially predicted, it would be even worse without the stimulus bill that many Republican candidates derided, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

On Michelle Bachmann’s inconsistencies:

“I don’t see that it’s the role of a president to go into states and interfere with their state laws,’’ said Ms. Bachmann, a favorite of Tea Party members who believe in states’ rights.

But then, after some other candidates said that they supported a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, she amended her answer.

“John, I do support a constitutional amendment on marriage between a man and a woman,’’ she told the moderator, John King of CNN, “but I would not be going into the states to overturn their state law.”

ABC News: Michele Bachmann Steals Show at GOP Debate to Announce Presidential Run

The Minnesota congresswoman was invited to the debate as an undeclared candidate, despite ample evidence that she was planning a White House bid, and she used the first question posed to her to announce she had officially filed to run.


“Our country needs a leader who understands the hardships that people across America have been facing over the past few years, and who will do what it takes to renew the American dream,” Bachmann said. “We must become a strong and proud America again, and I see clearly a better path to a brighter future.

“For these reasons, earlier this evening I instructed my team to file the necessary paperwork to allow me to seek the office of President of the United States.”

From The Fix: New Hampshire Republican debate: Winners and losers Chris Cilizza says the big winners are Michelle Bachmann and Mitt Romney, big losers – Tim Pawlenty and Herman Cain. Cilizza also liked John King (ugh!) and the “this or that” choices at the breaks (stupid!!).

Juli Weiner at Vanity Fair: Bachmann a Big Winner and Romney Is Bulletproof at CNN’s Republican Debate Here’s what Weiner had to say about Newt:

Most Obviously Disinterested

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich appeared sullen, and his answers were notably terse. He seemed most excited about two things: talking about NASA—Gingrich is a longtime admirer of outer space—and when King asked him to choose between Dancing With the Stars and American Idol. For the record, he choose the latter—although how long until divorces it in favor of its younger, flashier update, The Voice?

We were wondering if Gingrich’s disgruntled former staff organized a watching party tonight? And if so, what was the drinking game like?

She loved Romney’s facial expression when Herman Cain was talking abut his muslim phobia.

Most Comically Skeptical Face
For a fleeting, glorious moment during Cain’s exposition about “peaceful” Muslims versus Muslims “who are trying to kill us,” the split-screen showed Romney making a face not dissimilar to the one your blogger was making—a face one might make after eating a lemon-soaked pickle, or a slice of Godfather’s Pizza. “Romney’s face during Herman Cain’s answer might just have won my vote,” Ezra Klein of The Washington Post tweeted. Romney’s rejoinder to Cain’s response was measured: “Of course Sharia Law isn’t going to be applied in our courts,” he said. “Our country was founded on a principle of religious tolerance.”

This isn’t a reaction to the debate, but is very relevant to the Republican candidates and their so-called economic policies: American Chronicle: Grover pulls GOP strings

Today’s Republicans love to point out that President John F. Kennedy saw the wisdom of tax cuts when he reduced the top income tax rate. However, congressional Republicans at the time were worried that this would cause a budget deficit. President Dwight Eisenhower supported the continuation of high wartime taxes to reduce the nation’s debt. President Richard Nixon defended the continuation of a surtax to pay for the Vietnam War. Fearing deficits, President Gerald Ford opposed a permanent tax cut.

All of these leaders would be RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) today, because they put balanced budgets ahead of cutting taxes. President Ronald Reagan remains a hero, but that’s because his rhetoric on taxes and smaller government is beloved. Never mind that he agreed to several tax increases (including a huge hike in the payroll tax that rescued Social Security for decades to come), never once proposed a balanced budget and oversaw an expansion of the federal government. The Reagan tax hikes were a responsible response to growing imbalances, but they would be shot down today.

The bipartisan national debt commission and the Gang of Six (now down to five senators) are looking at a simpler tax code that would widen the tax base, lower rates and eliminate many deductions as part of a debt and deficit solution, which includes significant spending cuts. But because this would increase revenue overall, the grand poo-bah of anti-tax purity has declared that this must be opposed by any politician who has signed a pledge to never raise taxes. He Who Must Be Obeyed is Grover Norquist, who invented the tax pledge and is the head of Americans for Tax Reform.

In other news, President Obama opened his big mouth and said that Anthony Weiner should resign.

In an interview that will air on the Today show on Tuesday morning, Obama said that Weiner’s online exchanges with women were “highly inappropriate” and that he “embarrassed himself.” And while Obama said the decision about leaving Congress would ultimately be up to him and his constituents, he made his own preference clear.

“When you get to the point where, because of various personal distractions, you can’t serve as effectively as you need to, at the time when people are worrying about jobs, and their mortgages, and paying the bills—then you should probably step back,’’ Obama said.

Frankly, I think a President who hasn’t done diddly-squat about jobs or foreclosures should step back. Maybe he’s distracted by all those White House parties and so many vacations. If I had failed as badly as Obama has, I’d resign.

This is a horrifying story from Think Progress: JP Morgan Records Largest Profit Ever, While Community Devastated By Its Predatory Lending Sheds 1,000 Workers

One of the many tragic stories of the Great Recession involves Jefferson County, Alabama. As Matt Taibbi explained in an article in Rolling Stone last year, mega bank JP Morgan Chase used a predatory refinancing deal on sewer bonds to reap billions while the local area was financially devastated.

Now, Jefferson County, still reeling from the effects of JP Morgan’s dirty deals, is moving to place nearly 1,000 public workers on administrative leave without pay, as the state Legislature failed last week to come to the municipality’s aid with any fiscal support. In doing so, the county hopes to save “just over $12 million.”

Yet while the public workers of Jefferson County will soon face the prospect of losing their wages and livelihoods through no fault of their own, JP Morgan Chase continues to rake in lavish profits. In 2010, the mega bank posted a profit of a whopping $17.4 billion; during this past quarter, the bank “reported the biggest quarterly profit in its history,” with a 67 percent rise in net income.

I’ll end with some provincialism: Bruins dominate the Canucks, force Game 7

The Boston Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals at the Boston Garden. That makes the two teams tied 3-3. Game 7 should be a doozey. The last time the Bruins won the Stanley Cup was in 1972.

So what are you reading and blogging about today?

14 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Republican Freak Show, Obama’s Hypocrisy, and Other News”

  1. joanelle says:

    “Freak show” is an understatement – they demonstrated last night that they really think government is a game and has nothing to actually do with people’s lives.

    • bostonboomer says:

      To me it was proof that the “American empire” is in its last days. The American Century was the 20th, and in the 21st century the U.S. is becoming more and more irrelevant. You’d think the Democrats would take advantage of the mess the Republicans are in, but they have forgotten how to lead.

      • paper doll says:

        To me it was proof that the “American empire” is in its last days

        I love your optimism! The last days was some time ago! lolsob

        However the round up is great, thanks

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    Mental midgets.

    That’s all I could get from watching this group of 7 whose only intent is to reduce government regulations, bring more tax relief to the rich, take away the rights of women, and suspend any reform toward healthcare and social programs through privatization. Throw in the religion factor and this slate of contenders is less than impressive.

    Rape and incest? Just a little blip on the radar according to Michele Bachmann who values “life” of the preborn. Add the elimination of gays in the military to their proposed agenda and the nation will be a lot better off.

    Jobs? No mention other then the elimination of the EPA which is a “job killer” from their narrow perspectives.

    Amazing that this is the best that this country has to offer by way of leadership.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Great summary, Pat. The part where they talked about not believing in separation of church and state was the scariest part to me. After watching those morons, I have to admit that Romney probably is the least frightening–although that’s not say much. We are so f’d.

  3. paper doll says:

    They are their own best argument that government doesn’t work…

  4. paper doll says:

    In other news, President Obama opened his big mouth and said that Anthony Weiner should resign.

    It’s been a Hillary / Obama Inc proxy war from the start. . However if Weiner feels he should leave for rehap, perhaps he should leave alotgether ….it would help Camp Weiner if they could stop realeasing stories like he’s going into rehap…if you are staying , then stay and shut up about it all…this reminds me of the begining of this where he couldn’t stop giving( lying ) press interviews…. just stop talking …saying stuff like you are going into rehab doesn’t help you …it keeps the story going .

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    You kind of get the feeling that things are not quite right when Michele Bachmann is receiving praise as “winning” the overall debate.

    Possibly because she did not fall off her high heels or suggested that this nation was founded by God who arrived here on a boat from England along with a group of bankers who were fighting against “Obamacare”.


    • Beata says:

      LOL, Pat.

      When I read that Bachmann “won” the debate, I wondered what debate “the critics” had been watching.

      • bostonboomer says:

        The rationale seems to be that she stole the show by announcing she’s running. Like we didn’t know that already.

  6. foxyladi14 says:

    HAPPY FLAG DAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!11 🙂

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Just posted this down on Minx’s post from yesterday, but I’ll put it here too. Wapo has a writeup on the second “lesbian blogger” who has been outed as a man.

    “Paula Brooks,” editor of Lez Get Real since its founding in 2008, is actually Bill Graber, 58, a retired Ohio military man and construction worker who said he had adopted his wife’s identity online. Graber said she was unaware he had been using her name on his site.

    Brooks’s identity came under suspicion after news broke that a woman called Amina Arraf on the blog “A Gay Girl in Damascus” might not really be a Syrian lesbian.

    Over the weekend, as journalists, bloggers and fans of Amina hunted for clues to the identity behind the blog, Brooks came under review as a possible suspect. Liz Henry, a Web producer at BlogHer.com, questioned Brooks’s involvement with Amina, as Amina had started to write about the Syrian uprising on Lez Get Real before starting her own blog.