Archive for April 7th, 2011

by lizard

Clinically insane? No. Glenn Beck is not certifiably crazy. He’s an opportunist who saw a chance to take and weave together threads of a nebulous conspiracy culture with bastardized pseudo-theological endtimes imagery for personal enrichment. And now his show is getting the boot from Fox. For his followers, this will only confirm that Beck has stumbled on THE TRUTH (which includes FEMA concentration camps and the Egyptian uprising leading to a new Islamic Caliphate)

It’s an open question at this point how and why this decision by Fox came down. When Beck called Obama a racist that evidently led to a few hundred advertisers shutting their wallets and walking, but if that really is the main underlying reason for the decision, we’ll never hear it, because the boys upstairs don’t want the idea that boycotts are a very effective tool of protest to go viral.

More than likely it was a combination of factors that didn’t sum up well for Fox’s bottom line. And considering Bret Baier was recently on Jon Stewart (Jon gave both Bret and Shepard Smith measured props) it appears Fox may be aiming for a shake-up to restore a little brand-credibility.

I guess being considered a conspiracy theorist can damage one’s credibility. Continue Reading »


Well, I enjoyed the discussion so much on my last post the other day, “Senator Tester Abdicates Role of U.S. Government to GOP in Budget Fight”–about Tester’s avoidance of framing the ongoing budget debate in any other terms than the following:

“Congress has an important decision to make this week: Either work together to responsibly cut spending and keep our government working, or refuse and let our government shut down.”

— that I decided to do another. And surprise, surprise, some folks aren’t interested in talking about how our politicians are–or are not–responding to the ongoing battle. People want to discuss how we need to cut the budget, and how austerity is an appropriate response at this time. And that everything is hunky-dory in our junior Senator’s office (can’t criticize the incumbent during a reelection campaign, now can we). Oh, yeah, and they wanted to throw insults. But I digress.

So today, the OMB released a list of policy riders to H.R. 1, which is the House bill that is being debated in Congress. I assume that those who want to “responsibly cut” either are going along with this list, or feel that they can gain some concessions from Republicans and their conservative/teabagger loony fringe.

it is easy to pretend to be the grownup in the room, doing what you think is right and necessary. But these folks are calling the shots. And the only tools the Democrats have right now are not ones they seem to want to use, or are uncomfortable with: 1) make the case that austerity economics is not the right thing to do now (which I agree with) and offer an alternative to cutting which is tax reform that lowers rates, reduces complexity, and raises revenue; 2) keep making concessions until the Republicans agree to pass their bill; 3) allow the government shutdown to occur, and let public pressure define who wins, and who has to concede the most.

Sure, there are some other avenues, some doable, some not. And I remind commenters that at this point in time politics is the art of the doable. So you austerians and “responsibly cut” folks should pony on up and let us know just how you can justify your position knowing that the Republicans are stuffing a very bitter pill down your throat along with your all growed up budget cuts.

So here is a short list from the OMB’s report on policy riders in H.R.1.

  • Restrict funding of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and defund the “consumer products complaints database.
  • Bans funding for the Department of Education regulations on Gainful Employment, as-yet-unpublished rules that would restrict federal student aid to for-profit colleges
  • Prohibits funding for the Wetlands Reserve Program, the Conservation Stewardship Program, the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, the Weatherization Assistance Program or the State Energy Program, EPA efforts to regulate greenhouse gases
  • Defines specifically what greenhouse gases are and prohibits the EPA from imposing regulations on those gasses emitted by a stationary source for seven months
  • Prohibits funds for the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) from moving forward with a proposed rule that would effectively eliminate the Stream Buffer Zone Rule, a rule that presently allows surface mining operations with qualified permits to work within 100 feet of a stream
  • Prohibits funds for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • Prohibits funds for the EPA to implement regulations to designate coal ash residue as hazardous waste
  • Prohibits funds for EPA to modify the national primary ambient air quality standards applicable to coarse particulate matter (dust)
  • Prohibits funding for the IRS to implement health care reform
  • Prohibits funding for sections of the Public Health Service Act
  • Prohibits funds to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., or any of its affiliates
  • Strips funding for any provision of the health care reform law, and associated agency actions
  • Prohibits funding for the Sustainable Communities Initiative
  • Prohibits funding for capital advances or rental assistance contracts for HUD Housing for the Elderly projects
  • Blocks funds for the Federal Communications Commission to institute Net Neutrality rules
  • Prohibits funds for the Community Connect broadband grant program administered by the Rural Utilities Service of the Department of Agriculture
  • Prohibits funding for carrying out section 19 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act
  • Prohibits funds to pay the salaries and expenses of “czars,” or special presidential advisers who are not required to go through the Senate confirmation process

And there you have your short list. And these are the guys with whom you are willing to compromise to get your “responsible budget cuts”? This is like negotiating with terrorists, or kidnappers. Ready to make strange bedfellows with the right?

Jon Tester seems ready, judging by the op-ed he put out the other day. Or was that just a bunch of pre-election hot air meant to cast him in the grownup category?

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