Thursday, October 29, 2015
Reality Check: Paul Ryan got only 200 votes from his fellow Republicans, becoming their nominee for Speaker of the House. It seems likely he will go on to actually become Speaker. But when he does, remember he only got 200 Republican votes, and it takes 218 votes to pass a bill in the lower house of Congress.
Understatement: Iraq wants to make it very clear that they do not want US troops now, never have, and did not ask for them now, nor at any earlier date – no matter how Cheney remembers things.
Handy Dandy: Pepsi's Aquafina rband bottled water – the largest selling brand of bottled water – will now carry labeling that confesses what has been true all along: it's tap water. Sure it comes in a neat little environmentally disastrous plastic bottle, but what's inside comes from”public water sources.” Tap water, in other words.
Preview: In Arizona, which recently cut benefits under TANF (food stamps) by 20%, a poor family can get welfare assistance. But only for 12 months. Total. Over a lifetime. Chill out, this is the Paul Ryan model of public assistance where being poor is a personal problem.
An Echo: “Rubio has missed more votes than any other senator this year. His seat is regularly empty for floor votes, committee meetings and intelligence briefings. He says he's MIA from his J-O-B because he finds it frustrating and wants to be president, instead. [...] Sorry, senator, but Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job. We've got serious problems with clogged highways, eroding beaches, flat Social Security checks and people who want to shut down the government.”
Progress: The Senate has passed a cyber-security bill which contains legal protections for internet providers who share your personal information with the government. The politicians are portraying this further erosion of privacy as a Good Idea.
Dollars And Nonsense: Ben Carson's budget plan calls for a Balanced Budget Amendment which would keep the government from helping the poor and unemployed come the next economic downturn. It would impose a 10% Biblical flat tax, increasing taxes on the poor and middle class and cutting them dramatically for the rich. This would raise about $1.1 trillion a year, while the current federal budget is north of $4 trillion. To close this gap Carson would freeze government hiring (saving about $5 billion a year) and reduce all government budgets (except defense) by 4% (saving another $15 billion a year). Of course the math doesn't work, it wasn't supposed to. After all, Ben seriously believes the world was created in six days, and in such a world, the irrational is mandatory.
Clarification: About a thousand Bikini islanders are asking to be relocated to the US as rising seas “threaten their adopted home.” Actually, it is not “their adopted home”, it is the small island concentration camp where the military shipped them when we wanted to nuke their home.
Worse And Worser: Sure the Planned Parenthood investigating committee under Marsha Blackburn is going to be about as bad as the last half-dozen Benghazi committees, but the prizewinner is really the House Science Committee, headed by Lamar Smith of Texas who doesn't believe in science.
Mistakes Were Made: Tony Blair now says that he's sorry that his and Bush's war crimes led to the creation of ISIS. Fine, as far as it goes, but the real blame rests on Paul Bremer's insistence on disbanding the Iraqi Army and the US Command staff for giving in to Cheney and imprisoning and torturing its former leaders.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 8:08 AM