Latest Posts

  • Quote Unquote: Make-Believe People I Have Known

    PolitiFact editor Bill Adair writes about some "people" that he "met," in an editorial justifying his site's choice for "Lie of the Year"

    "At a Republican campaign rally a few years ago, I asked one of the attendees how he got his news. 'I listen to Rush and read NewsMax,' he said. 'And to make sure I'm getting a balanced view, I watch Fox.'

    "My liberal friends get their information from distinctly different sources — Huffington Post, Daily Kos and Rachel Maddow. To make sure they get a balanced view, they click Facebook links — from their liberal friends."

    You know, I used to know this guy who was always inventing these make-believe over-the-top caricatures and then writing about the crazy things that they did and said as a means of kind of exonerating himself for the silly things that he himself would do or say. And you know what? That guy was hunted down and eaten by a pack of crazed weasels.

    True story.

    Tags: Bill Adair, Medicare, Paul Ryan, PolitiFact, Quote Unquote
  • The Moment the Super Committee Exploded Itself

    Okay, it's not like anybody was expecting the U.S. Senate to suddenly miraculously gloriously become functional for this super committee idea, but it's still kind of fun in an anarchic some men just want to watch the world burn kind of way to watch the catastrophic congressional highway pile-up in slow-mo.

    To that end, Reuters pinpoints the exact moment when everything fell to shit

    When the November 7 Baucus meeting began, the seven members there were ready to get down to brass tacks — although the session did not start well, according to both sides.

    It opened with a discussion of a new Democratic proposal to raise taxes by $1 trillion, cut spending by $1 trillion, and spend another $300 billion to stimulate the economy…

    At the mention of $1 trillion in tax hikes, according to aides, two of the Republicans threw up their hands. One thumped the table with his fist to emphasize their adamant opposition.

    Nooooooo!!!! Noooooooooooooo!!!! Taxes! Don't say that word! Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!! Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrggggghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

    So help me God, if I hear one more person in this super committee say the word "taxes," I will punch a hole through this table and then set everything in this room on fire! I swear to everything that you people find sacrosanct and good that I will reach into that person's mouth and pull his spine out of his body and then beat every other person in the room until they are puddles of sanguine ooze on the marble floor! I will devour the entire District of Columbia and then wretch it all over Montana!

    Neeeeeeeevvvvvvveeeerrrrrrrr say the word "taxes" eeeeeeevvvvvveeeeeerrrrrr again!!!

    Now, let's start thinking about ways to cut Medicare and Medicaid.

    Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Democrats, Medicaid, Medicare, Republicans, Second Amendment, Senate, Taxes
  • Cain-Gingrich Debate Recap: You Won! No, YOU Won! No, We Won!

    When your great-grandchildren have the American History 101 microchips implanted in their forebrains they will learn about the event we witnessed last night: historic importance upon historic importance, as a scandal-plagued former fast-food executive and a formerly-scandal-plagued former Speaker of the House massaged each other's egos at a Tea Party fundraiser, just like Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. (":</ {^&," your great-grandchildren will tweedle on their iThinks, as they grasp the significance of the moment.)

    In case you "had plans on a Saturday night" or "have friends" or whatever, here's what you missed.

    * Iowa Rep. Steve King kicked things off with a slideshow about deficit spending, unenlivened by zingy graphics. (As everyone on the internet knows, the secret to a great slideshow is Kardashians, cute animals and/or foods that will kill you.) I fell asleep for a minute. When I woke up, Steve King was still talking. I ran over to the deli to get some coffee. Finally Steve King stopped talking (temporarily).

    * The first order of discussion: How great is Paul Ryan? No for real, how great is Paul Ryan? The greatest? The greatly-greatest? The greatliest greatest great in the entire Reaganverse?

    * It occurred to me that if the Ryan budget had passed the Senate last spring we probably wouldn't be having this debate. If only they'd known.

    * Newt repeated his line about "$70 to $120 billion in Medicaid and Medicare is paid to crooks." This is partially true! It would be a lot more true if he said that "about $70 billion in Medicaid and Medicare is considered improper payments, ie routine administrative errors, overpayments and fraud," but that is less of an adrenaline rush.

    * While we're on the topic of math, Newt called for the abolishment of the Congressional Budget Office, which he called a tool for expanding government because of the way its analytic models work. An hour later he cited CBO statistics to boast about his record in the House, so who even knows. (See also: his website.)

    * For Herman Cain, the complex question of entitlement reform boils down to one answer slogan: "It's your money." How will that work, for people who have already paid into the sys- It's your money. What about the- It's your money. Or, if you prefer: "When you treat it like it's your money, that's how you wean people off expecting that other people are gonna pay for it."

    * You know that old saying, if you give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day, if you teach a man to fish, he'll use this story as an argument against government activity in the private sector for the rest of his life? According to Herman Cain, a young waiter–who was black, he hastened to add–once approached him in a restaurant and said "I want to fish." I can only assume this waiter is now running Herman Cain's health policy team.

    * Cain did have a strong answer to a question about choosing defined benefit plans or a premium support system: "You go first, Newt."

    * Newt wants to apply Lean Six Sigma to the federal government and outsource Medicaid/Medicare payments to American Express and IBM, who have been begging President Obama to let them use their existing private-sector technology to evaporate government bloat, only to be met with bureaucratic silence. Again, this is just trueish.

    * Paul Ryan is super-smart and soooooooo dreamy!

    * Early in the evening Newt said that he and Herman were "the two most radical candidates" in the race. Among the radical, principled stands these two out-there types took: Cain is "a firm believer in 'Let's solve the problem.'" Newt "believe[s] in health information technology." OKAY, WILLIAM AYERSES.

    * Speaking of technology, Newt illustrated his free-market approach by asking people to imagine the situation if a government bureaucracy stood between them and the purchase of a new iPhone. But later he added that "crooks" get so much federal money because they have iPads, whereas bureaucrats only have notebooks, so… what is the solution here? Tighter government regulation of iPads but not iPhones? Buy iPads for all federal workers?

    * Standard-issue welfare reform talk: Cain says "We gotta make people want to get off those programs," Newt says "There's a certain tough love that we need to adopt," which is not what he says to Callista when she's racking up bills at Tiffany's.

    * At the end the candidates were allowed to lob softballs at each other, so Newt asked Cain what his biggest surprise of the campaign has been (surprise, it's "the nit-picky-ness of the media," what with all its questioning and investigating and so forth). Then Cain, who had been waiting for this moment all night, asked Newt what his first assignment should be if he were Vice-President of the United States. "Well, I wouldn't go hunting," said Newt. Thanks, you've been great! They'll be here for… oh, maybe another three months!

    * Sorry, almost forgot. Since this was a "debate," we are legally obliged to find out who "won."

    There was a problem connecting to Twitter.

    Yep, just add one more set of quotation marks to the twelfth word there, and that's about right.

    Photo by Lew Robinson/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
    Photo by Paul E. Tessier/Photodisc/Getty Images

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    Tags: Debates, Health Care, Herman Cain, Medicaid, Medicare, Newt Gingrich, Paul Ryan, Republicans, Science & Technology, Social Security, Steve King, Welfare
  • From the Pork Barrel: The Rick Man Cometh

    * I agree with Rick Perry 100 percent! If the Founding Fathers had wanted Medicare and Social Security, they wouldn't have invented Skid Row and bargain bin cat food.

    * While we're on the subject, is Rick Perry gonna make Mitt Romney actually have to work for the GOP nomination? Not cool, man. Not cool.

    * Looks like congressional Democrats are gonna have to work extra hard in order in order to close this weird popularity lead they inexplicably find themselves in.

    * Another day, another anti-gay Republican caught trying to pick up a male prostitute. Yawn!

    * Sometimes it seems like the only thing that Republicans are united in opposition to more than Barack Obama's center right-version of socialism is the observable universe.

    Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Democrats, Haggard's Law, House of Representatives, Indiana, Iowa, LGBT, Medicare, Mitt Romney, Phillip Hinkle, Pork Barrel, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Perry, Social Security, State Legislature
  • Barack Obama Announces the Terms of His Surrender on National Television

    If last night you were busy watching a show about a cancer-patient who devotes his life to cooking methamphetamine while inadvertently destroying the life of any person with whom he comes in contact, instead of paying attention to national news — because the news lately has just been too depressing — then you may have missed President Obama's national address on a new debt ceiling deal that he and congressional Republicans managed to strike

    – a one-time debt-ceiling increase that would last through 2012;

    – about $1 trillion in up-front spending cuts that wouldn't take place "abruptly";

    – and a bipartisan committee that must report to Congress by November that would further reduce the deficit by looking at taxes/revenues and entitlement spending

    Here's pretty much the long and short of how everyone emerges from the glorious day in American history…

    Barack Obama loses (probably maybe).
    Democrats lose for sure.
    Republicans win!
    Actual fiscally conservatives lose.
    Tea Party still probably think they're losing.
    Economy loses big time.

    That is definitely not the same the same president who announced health care reform a year or so ago, is it? Looks like he had he was getting pushed around by Boehner and Cantor just minutes before the cameras started rolling, huh? Didn't you kinda keep expecting a bucket of pigs blood to drop down on him during that speech?

    Tags: Barack Obama, Debt, Democrats, Economy, Medicare, Republicans, Tea Party