Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Whoa... Deja Vu

Bush today:

Now let's see... That sounds familiar. Equivocation... Sounds serious but is really nothing but hot air... Where have I... Oh yeah!

Well, we all know how well that turned out, don't we? Here's to hoping he really means it this time. (But I'm not holding my breath.)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Something New

Let's see how this goes...

Click here for tonight's post.

Friday, May 26, 2006


But Is It Enough?

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're aware that Georgieboy's approval numbers are in the tank. According to Gallup, this is due in part to his eroding support among liberal and moderate Republicans.

But what does this mean for the upcoming elections? Is it enough to swing the vote in favor of the Democrats? My heart says "yes," but my mind says "not so fast."

One of the problems with polling is that a poll is only as valid as the questions asked and Gallup is only asking about America's approval of George W. Bush. As much as it pleases me to see Georgieboy's ratings in the shitter the way they are, I know that it's not him we need to defeat. He can't run again. What the Democratic party needs to defeat is Republicanism. So the question is this: does the country's discontentedness with George W. Bush translate to ill feelings toward Republicanism?

To answer that question, I try to put myself in a similar situation. For instance, if I were unhappy with my elected Democratic official, would I ever consider voting for a Republican? I would have to answer no because in my mind a bad Democrat is still better than a Republican. Now that may sound horribly partisan, but consider what the parties stand for. If I have a choice between a bad Democrat that will vote with the Democratic party and a tolerable Republican that will vote with the Republican party... I think my choice is obvious.

So how do we swing the vote in our favor? For quite some time now, I've been saying that we can't rely on converted Republicans to vote for us. Instead, we have to get our votes from the Independents and the new voters. Fortunately, it looks as though we may be making some progress. From the same Gallup poll we find that the Independants are clocking in at a measly 23% approval. This tells me that 77% of the registered Independents could be swayed to vote for a Democrat. Assuming, of course, that we have something to offer them, otherwise they're just as likely to stay home.

So over the next four months, we're going to see what the Democratic party is made of. George W. Bush and his inept, incompetent, corrupt Republican cronies have given us plenty of fodder to work with. Now we have to make some hay.

Have a good weekend, everybody.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


The Truth About Taxes and Revenue

For the past twenty-five years, the American conservative movement has been gaining ground. During that time, there have been many lies told in an effort to garner votes. One of the greatest of those lies has been that tax cuts lead to greater government revenues. The premise is that if people pay less taxes, they will have more money to spend thereby creating a more robust economy and this will lead to more revenue for the government by way of increased spending. Some call it "supply side economics." Reagan called it "trickle-down economics." George H.W. Bush called it "voodoo economics." You can call it what you like, the simple fact is, it does not work.

The entire premise is based on a sketch on a napkin that has come to be known as the Laffer Curve. It looks something like this:

As crude as the animation is, it demonstrates the concept. According to Arthur Laffer, the napkin sketcher, there is a specific percentage of taxation that will yield maximum revenue for the government. The problem is that this concept is not based on any actual data. In fact, it's only based on the assumption that taxes are to the right of their optimum level and unfortunately for conservatives, the real numbers don't support their assumption.

The hero of the modern conservative movement is, of course, Ronald Reagan, the tax cutter extraordinaire. According to the Laffer-disciples, it was Reagan's 1981 tax cuts that spawned the booming economy of the eighties. (I remember the eighties very clearly and I know for a fact that my family struggled financially throughout the decade, but that's another story.) But what conservatives don't like to acknowledge is the fact that Reagan's economy didn't take off until he began raising taxes. The tax increases started in 1982, but things really got moving with the 1984 Deficit Reduction Act, and continued with the 1985 Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, the 1986 Tax Reform Act, and the 1987 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. From 1981 to 1984, the years most affected by the tax cut, tax revenue was $286 billion, $298 billion, $289 billion and $298 billion respectively. On the other hand, from 1985 to 1988, the respective tax revenues were $335 billion, $349 billion, $392 billion, and $401 billion. A significant increase over the previous four years. The only way the Laffer curve could justify this outcome is if the tax rate was already to the left of that optimum point. If that were the case, why cut taxes further?

Now fast-forward to the year 2001. George W. Bush has cut taxes twice since taking office. The first time in 2001 and the second time in 2003. What's happened since then, you ask? In 2001, the tax revenues equaled $994 billion and in 2005 they equaled $927 billion. That's a decline of 6.7%. To make matters worse, in spite of a 6.7% decline in government revenue, the administration has increased discretionary spending by nearly 50% from $649 billion to $967 billion over the same time period. How's that for fiscal conservatism?

The Laffer curve has continuously proven itself to be unreliable, but that hasn't stopped conservatives from lauding its value in an attempt to mislead the public. Lower taxes sounds like a great idea, sure. But when it comes at the expense of the country's well-being, is it really that great?

By the way, irony of all ironies, guess who was present in the meeting the day Arthur Laffer drew the now infamous sketch on that napkin. Old Five-deferment Cheney, himself. This man's like a bad penny. He just keeps turning up everywhere.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Three More Days

There are three days left in the school year and I have about six days worth of work to get done. Therefore, I'll see you on Wednesday or Thursday. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some work to get done. See you soon.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Meet the New Boss...

Same as the old boss.

Apparently, new White House press secretary Tony Snow got a few pointers from Scott McLellan. Check out this bullshit:

Allow me to translate. "We will neither confirm nor deny" is White House speak for "you bet your sweet ass we are." Face it, if they weren't, they'd deny it flat out. Why would they be coy if they didn't have something to hide?

I considered calling this post SSDD. Same Shit, Different Day. It's always the same from this administration. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

Monday, May 15, 2006


That Was Then...

But this is now.

Bush then:

Bush now:

Sixteen months ago George W. Bush couldn't be bothered with securing our borders. Yet now it's "a matter of national importance." So I guess you could say he was against it before he was for it. I seem to remember the Republicans having a word for that . Flip... something or other.

So Mr. Bush, now who's swaying with the polls?

Thursday, May 11, 2006


We Have A Winner!

It is my pleasure to announce that Alicia of Last Left Turn Before Hooterville fame has won the Bush in the twenties pool.

From the WSJ:

For her winning prediction, Alicia wins... well, actually it was just a pride thing. Mrs. kissfan cut my prize budget. Way to go Alicia!

Can you believe 29%? The sad thing is, I don't think he's hit bottom yet. With today's revelations concerning the NSA monitoring millions of phone calls, I've got a feeling we've only seen the beginning of Bush's long slide in the polls. So who wants to get in on the Bush below 25% poll? I'll stick with my original July prediction.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Year of the Democrat - Day 130

The country is finally awakening from it's long slumber and it's not happy about what it sees with its newly opened eyes.

Ahhhhhh.... Music to my ears.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Oh Please, Oh Please, Oh Please...

From last night's Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann:

Mr. Shuster, I pray you're not toying with us.

Could it finally be Fitzmas Eve?

BTW - Another poll has been released putting poor old George W. @ 31%. Ouch!

Monday, May 08, 2006


The Democratic Disconnect and How To Bridge the Gap

After the 2004 election I was puzzled as to why a majority of the voters would vote for the party that would benefit them the least. You know who I'm talking about - the working class, the security moms, the NASCAR dads. These are the people who won't see any benefits from eliminating the estate tax, but they're all for it because it sounds like a tax cut. Why can't the Democrats reach these people? What is the hold that the Republicans have over these voters? Well, I think I've finally figured it out and I'm here to tell you it's a lot simpler than you might think.

The problem lies in the fact that the Democratic party is giving the American voter too much credit. Our elected officials treat them with too much respect. I know that sounds condescending, but stick with me on this. I think it will make sense in the end.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average family has two children and makes about $44,389 per year. Between work, children, and family, it stands to reason that a lot of Americans don't have time to follow all the ins-and-outs of their elected officials. If you've got kids, you know what I'm talking about - homework, school plays, Little League, swim lessons, etc. etc. etc. So most Americans tend to get their news from what they hear on the radio on the way to and from work and what they can catch on the nightly news between the answers to "How was your day?" and "What's for dinner?" They have to rely on the traditional media's Reader's Digest version of the goings on in our country. So after they've sifted through the stories about Tom and Katie, Brad and Angelina, and the parade of missing white girls, it's no real mystery why most of America is less than informed. For instance, how much do you suppose they know about the recent scandal involving Cunningham, Foggo, poker, the Watergate Hotel, and hookers? Judging by what I've seen in the traditional media, I'd say none. But the Democrats don't get it. They act as though everyone is privy to the same information they are. If you need proof, check out this exchange between House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Tim Russert from yesterday's Meet the Press:

WTF? I'm not sure I even understand what the hell she's saying. She's assuming that anyone watching knows the whole story. But the majority of people don't. Yeah, yeah, I know, most people probably don't watch MTP either, but this problem isn't confined just to Sunday morning gab fests. It's pervasive. Check out almost any statements made by our party's leadership. It's like a puzzle or something.

A long time ago I saw an episode of Mad About You where Paul was trying to register Jamie for classes. He was so confused that he ended up saying "Talk to me like I'm four." This is how the Republicans have managed to ensnare the security moms and the NASCAR dads - they talk to them like they're four! They don't assume that they know what's going on. In fact, Republicans assume that Americans don't have a clue about what's happening and they lay out the issue in the simplest, most self serving terms and they use the most inflammatory language possible. Republicans spoon feed the American voter only the information they want them to know. Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats could learn a lesson from them. Instead of the cloak-and-dagger insinuations, Pelosi's answer could have been much more effective had it gone like this:

Short, simple, and to the point. It assumes that the average viewer doesn't know what's going on and it gives them the high points in terms they can understand. Everyone understands gambling and hookers and while they might enjoy it for themselves, it's not something they want to hear about their elected officials.

For too many years now, the Democratic party has been giving America more credit than it deserves. If they want to bridge the gap and connect with the apathetic voter, the first step is to get America to understand what the hell they're talking about. Plain language for plain people. As a teacher, I've learned that you can't assume anything about what people know. You have to start with the simplest facts and then you can work up from there. The Democrats need to simplify if they really want to bridge that gap.

BTW - Georgieboy's now below the freezing point. He's at 31% and falling.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Here We Go Again

It's like déjà vu all over again. From the Christian Science Monitor (via Daily Kos):

Every election cycle, the GOP drags out their faith in an attempt to draw in the Evangelical voter. Despite their rampant unethical behavior, they preach values and decency and they drive their wedge issues all in hopes of garnering the Christian vote. They promise the moon, but as we've seen so many times, they don't deliver. You'd think the Evangelicals would get tired of being used and lied to, but like a battered spouse they come back time after time in support of their abuser.

So as a reminder to those Evangelicals, I would like to offer this partial list of what the Republican party has given us over the last five-plus years.

And how many of these things are benefiting the Evangelicals? How many of these things are in agreement with the teachings of Jesus? Not a single one. It's time the Evangelicals opened their eyes to see that the Republican party is using them the same way they've been using prostitutes at the Watergate hotel. They get what they want and then they move on. Meanwhile, the Evangelicals, much like the prostitutes, wake up sticky, battered and confused. It must be an awful feeling to know that you're not respected the morning after.

I hope the Evangelicals are starting to see through the lies and deceit because I hate to see anyone get used like that. It's so demeaning.

Monday, May 01, 2006


So Now We Know

From David Shuster on tonight's edition of Hardball:

So much for the "she wasn't even undercover" bullshit. Lying fuckers, each and every one of them.

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