From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...
I'm feeling nostalgic this morning. So let's look back on some Obama campaign pledges (hat tip to the Rude Pundit) and run 'em by my Pulitzer Prize-not-winning BillyFact research service. (Update: I'm this close to winning a Pulitzer on eBay---fingers crossed!) The first is from November, 2008:
"I will give a tax break to 95% of Americans who work every day and get taxes taken out of their paychecks every week. And I'll help pay for this by asking the folks who are making more than $250,000 a year to go back to the tax rate they were paying in the 1990s."
TRUE! Ninety-five percent of Americans who work every day and get taxes taken out of their paychecks will get an awesome Obama tax cut starting January 1. And the president did ask folks making over $250,000 a year to go back to their old tax rate. Unfortunately, their answer turned out to be, "Talk to our gold- and diamond-encrusted hands." Apparently one of those hands belongs to Barack Obama.
Next is from October, 2008:
"It's true that I want to roll back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans and go back to the rate they paid under Bill Clinton. John McCain calls that socialism. What he forgets is that just a few years ago, he himself said those Bush tax cuts were irresponsible."
TRUE! Obama did "want" to roll back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans, but "wanting" isn't "doing," so he squeaks by on a technicality. And John McCain did forget what he'd said a few years ago. And a few weeks ago. And a few hours ago. But one thing he never forgets: no fags in the military!
Also from October, 2008:
"I'll cover that remaining cost [of health care reform] with a portion of the money I'll save by ending George Bush's tax breaks for people making more than $250,000 a year. They'll go back to paying the kind of rates they paid when Bill Clinton was President."
MAYBE! The Affordable Care Act doesn’t officially reach its full head of steam until 2014, so if the tax cuts for the rich get repealed in 2012 or 2013, he can still say he fulfilled his pledge. We'll be watching.
And one more, from the mouth of America:
Listen up, you Republican fuckers and your corporate lapdogs: you swore on a stack of Bibles piled ten stories high that extending tax cuts for everyone (in wartime, no less) would absolutely positively "reduce uncertainty" and "create jobs" and "stimulate the economy." And as of January 1, you got yourself a fresh bucket full of tax cuts. But if jobs and the economy don’t come roaring back to life the way your magic pony promise says it will, you'll get the credit for, once again, not having the foggiest clue what the hell you're doing. And then we'll go Galt on your ass in 2012.
TRUE! We believe that, say, ten million jobs should be easy to rack up in the next two years, because Republicans and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Koch Brothers are so smart and awesome. Plus they promised!
Oh, and a quick heads-up to the press: As of December 31 the Bush tax cuts end and the Obama tax cuts begin. No matter what you think of the wisdom behind it, Democratic President Barack Obama just agreed to set America's tax rates really really low starting in 25 days. I can hear the tea party thank-you cards pouring in to the White House now. Or...not.
Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Note: Yes, I am aware that the kishka has, in fact, been stolen. The proper authorities have been notified. Until then, we're in lockdown.
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Valentine's Day: 69
Days `til the Bozeman Ice Festival in Montana: 2
Revised number of stars in the universe: 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
(Source: Yale astronomer Pieter van Dokkum and Harvard astrophysicist Charlie Conroy via Nature)
Amount of earmarks in 2006, when Republicans controlled Congress and the White House: $29 billion
Amount of earmarks last year, when Democrats controlled Congress and the White House: $16 billion
Cost of an actual working Tron lightcycle: $55,000
Number of registered Kossacks as of yesterday morning: 283,852
NE Patriots 45 NY Jets 3
Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:
Carter: "Don’t let your brother in the hut get his own beer.
Obama: "He could call it ‘Dark Ail’. Get it – A-I-L – you know, he’s poor and lives in a shack! Heh-heh. He lives on Peanuts! Get it, common Jimmy..."
---Commenter Aloguy at the Michelle Malkin blog
All together now: One...two...three... Classy!!!
Puppy Pic of the Day: Awwwwwww, eh...
CHEERS to gettin' the goods. I've got some bids in on the Netroots Nation Holiday Bazaar online auction, and you will leave them aloooone (he said, doing his best Obi Wan Kenobi impression). However, there are many other items on which you can bid (Afghans, jewelry, photography, and sin, sin, sin), and I shall leave yours alone. Deal? Deal. Auction ends tonight at 10 EST and the proceeds fund the Netroots Nation convention and their regional events. Oh, and for an extra 50 bucks, John McCain will deliver your goods dressed as Santa. Or, for an extra hundred bucks, he won’t.
JEERS to a portrait in contrasts. General George S. Patton:
I don’t want to get any messages saying that we are holding our position. We’re not holding anything. Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly and we’re not interested in holding on to anything except the enemy! We're gonna hold onto him by the nose and we're gonna kick him in the ass!!! We're going to kick the hell out of him all the time and we're gonna go through him like crap through a goose!!!
General David Petraeus:
"I think no commander ever is going to come out and say, ‘I'm confident that we can do this.’ I think that you say that you assess that this is... You believe this is... You know, a reasonable prospect and knowing how important it is...that we have to do everything we can to increase the chances of that prospect. But again, I don't think there are any sure things in this kind of endeavor. And I wouldn't be honest with you and with the viewers if I didn't convey that."
I'm sorry, I fell asleep...can you repeat that, sir? Oh, and if I may say: love your sweater vest and penny loafers!
CHEERS to the new kid on the block. Sam Seder guest-hosted Countdown last night. Sam Seder!!! More, please.
CHEERS to America the Resilient: 1941 Edition. Today marks the 69th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. As a nation, we snapped out of our post-12/7 shock in the blink of an eye and it was all downhill for the evildoers after that. The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association---whose numbers have dropped from 18,000 to 3,000 since 1958---says it's doing some restructuring but otherwise has no plans to disband. And as far as that "Day of infamy," we have no plans to forget.
P.S. We also won't forget this excerpt from Richard Clarke's 2004 book, Against All Enemies:
By the afternoon on [the] Wednesday [after Sept. 11], Secretary Rumsfeld was talking about broadening the objectives of our response and "getting Iraq." Secretary Powell pushed back, urging a focus on al Qaeda. Relieved to have some support, I thanked Colin Powell. "I thought I was missing something here," I vented. "Having been attacked by al Qaeda, for us now to go bombing Iraq in response would be like our invading Mexico after the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor."
Great thing about Roosevelt: he had a brain. And could read a map.
JEERS to collective amnesia. Gallup decided to ask Americans to retroactively rate George W. Bush's performance as president. He's at 47 percent, which is admittedly pretty high, but we Americans are nothing if not a forgetful bunch. And now, for your amusement, I shall drop the other shoe......
Bush’s 51 percent disapproval rating means he’s only one of two U.S. presidents in the past 50 years whose disapproval exceeds approval. The other is Richard Nixon, who resigned in disgrace 36 years ago and whose approval rating stands at 29 percent.
Nixon and Bush sittin' in a tree... (You know the rest.)
JEERS to rude visitors arriving early. Old Man Winter to America, two weeks before his shift officially begins: "Helloooooooooooooo!!!!!! Didja miss me? Huh huh huh didja???" Yeah...the same way we miss Dick Cheney, polio and New Coke.
CHEERS (because we never jeer anyone on their birthday) to Maine's maddening "moderate." Maine Senator Susan Collins---who makes Democrats herd some mighty big camels through some pretty small needle eyes on her behalf before she'll give 'em the time of day---celebrates her 58th birthday today. She's all excited---it's the one day of the year when Olympia Snowe gives her permission to be Miss Sparkle Princess at the big kids' table in the cafeteria during lunch. (The tiara has moose antlers!)
Five years ago in C&J: December 7, 2005
JEERS to America the vulnerable. Nearly four years after the twin towers came down, the co-chairs of the 9/11 commission say George W. Bush--the guy who ran exclusively on a platform of keeping America safe--has done nothing to make us feel safer. Well, that's not entirely true---he has left the country a few times.
CHEERS to the healing power of Fido. U.S. News has a nice article this week explaining how "pet therapy" helps release natural painkilling endorphins and reduce the stress hormone cortisol in sick people. But if you're in the operating room and your surgeon wags his tail when he asks the nurse for the "Ralpel!"...RUN!
And just one more...
JEERS to killing a bill without lifting a veto pen. If my math is right, 1.1 billion 100-dollar bills adds up to...[Clackity clack clack clackity]...a shitload of money! But there are, in fact, 1.1 billion C-notes sitting in storage right now because they're defective. China's first words to Tim Geithner when it heard the news: "Dude, you broke our money??!!"
Have a nice Tuesday. Wassail harder. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:
If you're going to run a fan outside your home for hours each day to promote the holiday, at least choose an inflatable that makes more sense than a hunting snowman or Bill in Portland Maine living in a trailer.