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Showing posts from September, 2013

Polling on the deficit

Kevin Drum points us to a NYT/CBS poll, specifically a question about the deficit and whether people approve of the way Obama is handling it:

54 percent of the public disapproves of Barack Obama's handling of the deficit. And yet, as the chart on the right shows, the deficit is shrinking dramatically. Last year it dropped by $200 billion, and this year, thanks to a recovering economy, lower spending from the sequester, and the increased taxes in the fiscal cliff deal, it's projected to fall another $450 billion.

Bottom line: It's unfortunate that the deficit is falling so fast. It's a headwind against the recovery that we don't need. Nonetheless, the deficit is falling fast, and no one seems to know it yet. The chart above is one that deserves much wider distribution. Be sure to show it to your conservative friends at every opportunity.
I strongly suspect Kevin is right that most people are thinking about that question in terms of cutting the deficit. So while I dis…

House will vote on CR, including defunding Obamacare

Speaker of the House John Boehner announced today that he would put a continuing resolution (CR) up for a vote later this week. The CR is just a budget placeholder that continues current levels of federal spending. Nothing too crazy in simply doing that, aside from the fact that it contains sequester cuts and general austerity while the economy is still not doing well. But that's probably about the best deal that can pass the House. And we probably won't get a better deal if we let Republicans shut down the gov't. So all things considered it's probably best to swallow a crappy CR and move on.

The really ridiculous thing about Boehner's announcement is that the CR will include a provision that defunds Obamacare (or ACA). This has been the Republican hobby horse from the moment the ACA passed. The reason (aside from Republicans just being crazy) is that they see this as a political winner for them. Their opposition kept the bill moderate in the first place. And sinc…

Breaking Bad: Ozymandias

Spoilers to follow...

It's been a few days and I'm still trying to wrap my head around everything that happened in this incredible episode. You've probably read a bunch of recaps and analysis elsewhere (I have). So I won't be repetitive in that sense. What I did want to talk about a bit was Hank, whose fate I probably had the strongest reaction to. I wrote about Hank and how his sense of masculinity had big effects on his actions. In that post I also linked to this post from Pajiba talking about how masculinity affects everyone on the show.

Hank's macho personality made him a bit ridiculous, funny and kind of annoying in the early part of the show. And as I said in my post linked above, it almost gets him killed in the middle seasons. But we don't see the same Hank as we did in the first season or so after he is almost killed by the cartel twins. I'm not sure if that experience was a symbolic way of killing off that hyper-masculinity or if it just served t…

Gif of the day

What Tennessee Republicans make me want to do:

TN Republicans hate job creators

Bruce Bartlett explains:

Consider the case of Bob Corker, the Republican senator from Tennessee, and Volkswagen, the German automaker that employs 2,000 workers at a plant in Chattanooga. As my colleague Steven Greenhouse reported last week, the company is working with the United Auto Workers on a plan to unionize its factory so it can establish what is known as a “works council” in Germany.
In an interview with the Associated Press, he called Volkswagen’s decision to engage in these talks “incomprehensible” and said the company would become a “laughingstock in the business world” if it went ahead with the plan.
The lawmakers say they are worried that a unionized Volkswagen plant would somehow ruin the investment climate in the state and compel other companies not to invest there. A more realistic explanation for why the lawmakers oppose the U.A.W.’s foray into their state is that they fear it will support the state’s Democratic party.

The strangest thing about Mr. Corker’s an…

Gif of the day

Obama to Congress regarding Syria: