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Budget
  • GOP Robbing from the Poor, Giving to the Predator Drones

    Hey, remember last summer when the GOP agreed to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts, half of which were supposed to come from the Pentagon?

    Ha. Yeah. That was totally never gonna happen

    The House voted Thursday to override steep cuts to the Pentagon’s budget mandated by last summer's debt deal and replace them with spending reductions to food stamps and other mandatory social programs.

    While doomed in the Senate and opposed by the White House, the legislation, which would reduce the deficit by $243 billion, is a Republican marker for post-election budget talks with the White House.

    The Washington Post has a handy list of all the highlights. In addition to food stamps, Republicans are trying to cut funding for Medicaid, the Child Tax Credit, federal employee pensions, financial regulation and social services block grants, which help fund Meals on Wheels, child welfare, day care services and help for the disabled.

    So basically, just programs for the most vulnerable populations imaginable. What child needs food and shelter when they can have an unlimited supply of predator drones flying overhead?

    Insiders say Sith Lord Speaker John Boehner also tried to make cuts to the Department of Puppies and Rainbows, but he was afraid the bill would be too long. And anyway, you can't blame the GOP. They're just trying to create more jobs. Like, child funeral director or black-market organ donor. Yep, it's all about jobs. Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.

    Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Budget, Debt, Economy, House of Representatives, John Boehner, Medicaid, Pentagon, Welfare
  • Stephen Colbert on Paul Ryan's Christian Budget Cuts

    "Don't talk to me about separation of church and state; this is a Christian nation. Our money says 'In God We Trust,' our Declaration of Independence namechecks the Creator and when Congress passes a law, it is nothing short of a miracle." – Stephen Colbert

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    Coverage continues with Georgetown University's Father Thomas Reese after the jump…

    The Colbert Report airs Monday through Thursday at 11:30/10:30c.

    Read More »


    Tags: Ayn Rand, Barack Obama, Bill of Rights, Budget, Catholic Church, Christianity, Church v. State, Constitution, Economy, House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, Religion, Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, Video
  • Paul Ryan Really Likes '90s Metal and Fisting Catfish

    With debt and taxes continuing to dominate national politics for the second year in a row, you're probably familiar with rising GOP star Paul Ryan. But how much do we really know about him? Every now and then, he'll pop up on the news holding some big shiny budget proposal, but beyond that, he's kind of a cipher.

    Until now. Thanks to two sprawling magazine profiles, one in New York, and the other in the New York Times, we now know a bit more about the mysterious young congressman from Wisconsin, including his predilection for choking catfish

    Representative Paul D. Ryan strolls the halls of Capitol Hill with the anarchist band Rage Against the Machine pounding through his earbuds.

    At 6:30 every morning, he leads an adoring cast of young, conservative members of Congress through exercise sessions in front of a televised trainer barking out orders. For fun, Mr. Ryan noodles catfish, catching them barehanded with a fist down their throats.

    He may be, as a friend described him, “a hunting-obsessed gym rat,” but Mr. Ryan, 42, of Wisconsin, has become perhaps the most influential policy maker in the Republican Party, its de facto head of economic policy, intent on a fundamental transformation of the federal government.

    Of course, Ryan is totally qualified to be the GOP's head of economic policy because he holds a B.A. in economics. By that logic, he could also be the head of energy policy since he once pumped his car full of gas.

    By the way, for those not familiar with the term, "noodling" — aka "catfisting" — is a form of bare-handed fishing practiced in the South in which the fisherman reaches his bare hand into a catfish hole. As much as we like to make fun of Mitt Romney for animal cruelty, at least he's never fisted another living creature. Not that we know of.

    Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Animals, Budget, Economy, Music, New York Times, Paul Ryan, Wisconsin
  • Paul Ryan's Budget Supported by Invisible Democrats

    Believe it or not, there's actually a whole lot of Democratic support for Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan to social programs in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy. In fact, a good number of Democrats have come up to him to tell him that they support him.

    Only, you can't see them. Because they're invisible. And they talk in very quiet whispers directly into Ryan's ear. Magical Democratic pixie whispers

    House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan told reporters in New York today that a dozen elected Democrats secretly support his plan to cut entitlement spending and privatize some benefits — but he wouldn't name "because I don't' want to get them in trouble."

    Ryan cited Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, with whom he developed a Medicare reform plan, as one Democrat with whom he could work, and said, "I believe there is a bipartisan consensus emerging on going this direction."…

    "I’m not going to out Democrats who I believe are in office, who are favorably disposed to these ideas, for their own sake and for the sake fo getting this consensus realized," Ryan said at the gathering hosted by Bloomberg View in Manhattan Tuesday morning.

    Whatever you do, do not deny the existence of these invisible Democrats. Because that makes them very very mad. And then they'll eat us.

    Photo by T.J. Kirkpatricky/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Budget, Democrats, House of Representatives, Medicare, Paul Ryan
  • President Obama Needs New Material

    President Obama has a reputation as a wordsmith, a brilliant speechwriter who conveys his inspirational messages with clarity and clever turns of phrase. And it's not just his supporters who like to quote him.

    It seems the President is so enamored of his own words he can't stop repeating them. In a video posted to the RNC's Youtube page yesterday, President Obama is heard reciting the same speech about the House budget two years in a row. Watch

    Obama really has gone green. Conserving energy is so important to him, he's even recycling his own words.

    Maybe Obama needs some new material. Then again, the last time he tried testing out material on an open mic with the Russian President, it didn't go so well.


    Tags: Barack Obama, Budget, Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus, Republican National Convention, White House