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Michael Tomasky:

Now it's the right's turn to be unhappy with their elected leaders. Two years ago, it was liberals who were appalled at Obama's sell outs on the public option and so forth. Well, liberals are still mad at Obama, and in my opinion with increasingly good reason, at least as pertains to the budget situation.

I can see from the tea partiers' perspective why they're aghast, actually. The non-defense discretionary budget is about $1.25 trillion (out of a total budget of roughly $3.5 trillion), and $33 billion in cuts equals, as they repeatedly say, about 2.6 cents out of every dollar. If I were a tea partier, I'd be upset that the GOP couldn't do any better than that.

In her final column, Ann Woolner wonders if Antonin Scalia can actually be so naive about Wal-Mart's methods of sex discrimination.

Paul Krugman demolishes the GOP's doctrine of "expansionary austerity," but has a few words for the party that is supposed to be their foes:

And Democrats are offering little pushback. The White House, in particular, has effectively surrendered in the war of ideas; it no longer even tries to make the case against sharp spending cuts in the face of high unemployment.

So that’s the state of policy debate in the world’s greatest nation: one party has embraced 80-year-old economic fallacies, while the other has lost the will to fight. And American families will pay the price.

Tim Rutten offers some justified praise for a plan to take Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's 30/10 proposal nationwide.

"This is a program that puts people to work now at little cost, since 98% of the federal dollars would be repaid from local sources. This is more than a step we're proposing; it's a leap forward. There's nothing in the country that's as exciting right now, because America Fast Forward is doable, even in this divided, partisan environment."

The original 30/10 proposal's advantages for Los Angeles County always have been clear. What's striking is how well they translate onto the national stage. According to a study done recently by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., congressional passage of America Fast Forward would create 918,300 jobs paying $50.8 billion in wages. That translates into $5.8 billion in state and local tax revenues and $10.6 billion for Washington. Not a bad return on a secure investment.

Stephen Lerner says the Republican attacks on working people contain a silver lining: "This can be our moment."

Melissa Harris-Perry:

Few events more clearly demonstrated the blackening of America than the standoff in Wisconsin. Like the nineteenth-century leaders of Southern states who stripped black citizens of voting rights, public accommodation and civic associations, Wisconsin’s Republican majority dismantled the hard-won basic rights of Wisconsin workers. Like those Confederate leaders, the Wisconsin GOP used intimidation, threats and even the police against demonstrators and rival officials. As the saga unfolded, many Wisconsin citizens felt stunned that their once-secure rights might be eliminated. For a moment, perhaps, they glimpsed the experience of black men and women who watched the shadow of Jim Crow blot out the promises of emancipation.

Mark Shields needs to learn that writing effectively about the loss of moral outrage requires that you show some.

Robert Fisk has some tough words for Bashar al-Assad and the United States in his tight rundown on Syria's predicament and its importance:

Syria needs to be renewed. It does need an end to emergency laws, a free media and a fair judiciary and the release of political prisoners and – herewith let it be said – an end to meddling in Lebanon. That figure of 60 dead, a Human Rights Watch estimate, may in fact be much higher. [Today], President Bashar al-Assad will supposedly tell us his future for Syria. It better be good.

Referencing the Census Bureau's report that one in six Americans is now a Latino, Esther J. Cepeda urges the middle class of that demographic to not to turn their backs on their brothers and sisters:

Latinos stand at a crucial juncture: They could continue to endure multigenerational poverty, a general lack of political power, dismal graduation rates and too-few professional opportunities while being erroneously thought of as a population of unassimilated carpetbaggers.

Or they could put their eye-popping statistics to the task of taking their rightful place in mainstream America as the most recent wave of culturally similar people, actively contributing their strengths, values and work ethic to continue making this country great.

In other words, instead of interpreting the population figures as an automatic guarantee of future political clout or demographic respect, the Latino community should consider them a call to action.

Larry Kudlow bellyaches that the Obama administration wants to stifle oil and natural gas development by requiring that it be done responsibly.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Larry Kudlow is Ayn Rand in drag. I don't mind the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vicky

    sexual orientation but the economic/morality orientation makes me want to puke.

  •  there may be stuff going on in the world (6+ / 0-)

    but if a paper has a local baseball team, that's the headline.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 04:37:51 AM PDT

  •  Thanks, once again ... (7+ / 0-)

    ... to Paul Krugman for hitting it square. Timidity on issues such as energy is one thing, but capitulation in the face of false economic doctrine is quite another.

    We will literally pay many years for the mistakes being made right now in Washington.

    •  Krugman is still too timid. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      megisi, Celtic Pugilist, shaharazade
      So that’s the state of policy debate in the world’s greatest nation: one party has embraced 80-year-old economic fallacies, while the other has lost the will to fight. And American families will pay the price.

      Do we really believe that this is a case of the Democrats having lost the will to fight?  They control the White House and the Senate!  No, this is a case of getting on board with the plutocracy, of being on board with the plutocracy, even when they controlled the everything with wide margins.

      Krugman is still too timid, perhaps still thinking that he will gain the favor of the White House, and he never will.  He committed the cardinal sin.  He criticized them.  To the White House, nothing in this world is worse than criticizing them (unless you are a Republican, of course, in which case you can slander them continuously and it will help you get what you want.  For Democrats, if you criticize you are written off.)

      •  I like to think so, Joanne, but ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanneleon

        ... your argument is well-crafted and compelling. I have days when I don't believe the worst and others much darker.

        Do we really believe that this is a case of the Democrats having lost the will to fight?
  •  Gmail Motion Beta! Oh yeah, (0+ / 0-)

    working to master it instead of reading Kudlow. Much more useful.

    http://mail.google.com/...

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 04:47:43 AM PDT

  •  That L.A. plan sounds interesting. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Im with Rosey

    Not sure what they mean about rolling it out nationally, though.

    Making it available to all states and municipalities? Or having a national sales tax?

    The latter won't fly, obviously.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 04:48:47 AM PDT

  •  Krugman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joanneleon
    So that’s the state of policy debate in the world’s greatest nation: one party has embraced 80-year-old economic fallacies, while the other has lost the will to fight. And American families will pay the price.

    Where Krugman sees  the Democrats lacking the will to fight, I see the Democrats agreeing with the Republicans (especially in the WH).

    Which is a much more troubling thought.

    •  When Obama, in a national address no less, (3+ / 0-)

      took on the mantel of those "economic fallacies" Krugman refers to and actually argued the Republicans' case by stating that if the American people had to tighten their belts then the government should too, I almost jumped out of my skin.  I understand he's surrounded himself with corporate shills, but even I understand the macroeconomic ramifications of the government's austerity measures in the face of high unemployment, high unused industrial capacity and low business investment.

      In order for an economy to grow, money has to be spent.  If no one is spending money, whether out of fear or high debt levels, the economy doesn't grow.  If consumers don't spend, and businesses don't spend, and investors don't invest in anything but government bonds (low return, no risk), who is left to spend to grow the economy?  Only the federal government.  And now both the nitwits and cowards in congress and the president, not known for being a nitwit even though his political cowardice is an open question, have precluded the last available steps that could be taken to kick-start the moribund economy.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:06:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SueDe

    In her final column, Ann Woolner wonders if Antonin Scalia can actually be so naive about Wal-Mart's methods of sex discrimination.

    It's called privilege. It creates all sorts of handy blinders that allow you to believe that oppression is never the problem at hand.

    •  Scalia did say that (0+ / 0-)

      The Constitution does not guarantee women equal rights. If they don't have the same rights as men, do women even have have grounds to bring a lawsuit against corporations, the uber-citizens?   Pfft! Off with you girls!

      /disgusted snark

      It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... - C Dickens.

      by grover on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 08:21:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Krugman is on target (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats will not push back.  Yet while he may mostly mean the Dem politicians in Washington, there is plenty of indication rank and file Democrats won't push back either.  98% of the rank and file is content to wait for "leaders" to make the move.

    The kinds of action and coordination and discipline needed to get attention, drive a narrative and stay on point doesn't exist yet.  The labor rallies in Wisconsin look pretty good, but there are still too many people whose outrage consists of hanging out at blogs but doesn't extend to getting their asses out on the street.

    Case in point, there are labor rallies beginning today going through at least until the 9th.  They are coordinated by all the major unions (just go to some of the union websites) and many other organizations.  These are meant to coincide with the anniversary of Dr. King's death, April 4th.

    It is kept a big secret by the left because except for the excellent Thom Hartmann, no one wants to talk about them.

    I think a few million on the street this week might have an impact.  But typing snarky comments about Charlie Sheen is more fun so I guess, I'll just stay home.  After all, I'm only one person and it's not like someone bothered to tell me how I can find a rally to go to.  Where could I even get that information?  Oh, maybe here.

    http://local.we-r-1.org/

    Support working poor and middle class Americans. Stand up and be counted. Find a rally to join.

    by Satya1 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 05:31:08 AM PDT

    •  IMHO, the Administration... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Celtic Pugilist

      ...sees this Budget battle as a temporary defensive position to retreat from as they form up for the next defensive position: the 2012 budget and debt ceiling battles. At that point there will be no other defensive line to retreat to.

      If they fail to make a "last stand" then, that's my personal line in the sand. The WH - and I - will have run out of excuses at that point.

      The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

      by Egalitare on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 05:45:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  With all due respect, (0+ / 0-)

        I don't give a shit about administration strategies at this point.  Other than a handful of notable exceptions, none of the Washington Dems have been forthcoming with the working class narrative lately.  

        I'm standing with labor in the streets this week.  If politicians want to come to the rallies and suck up, that is their choice.  Otherwise, I expect them to do what they always do.  And I expect blog addicts to do what they always do.

        Support working poor and middle class Americans. Stand up and be counted. Find a rally to join - April 1 - 9.

        by Satya1 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:48:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Adopting Joe Johnston's Defense of Atlanta (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Egalitare

        There is irony in this for Civil War historians.  The Whitehouse throughout has employed the same defensive strategy that Joe Johnston used before Atlanta.  Over the course of the campaign Johnston gradually ceded ~100 miles of the most defensible ground in the South without ever forcing a full on engagement.  

        Renewing the Bush tax cuts was the ultimate sell out of a presidency without any scruples.

        by Celtic Pugilist on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:59:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is the understatement of the year (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Celtic Pugilist
    Well, liberals are still mad at Obama, and in my opinion with increasingly good reason, at least as pertains to the budget situation.
  •  This wouldn't have anything to do with (0+ / 0-)
    while the other has lost the will to fight.

    a leader who doesn't fight.  At all.  For anything.  (except getting elected)

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:09:13 AM PDT

  •  Latin Americans (0+ / 0-)

    Most latin Americans grew up with very socially conservative Parents.
     Hate to drop the "R" bomb but, we have a great fault and that is belief in "Religon".

    If we can't pull away from all churchs, latins will continue to turn the other cheek when called illegals, given less rights, told our children arent real Americans and threatened to be sent to Latin America for looking latin.
    when we latins figure out its not Gods will, thats when we will stand up and say NO you cant do this

    What I can not tolerate is intolerance

    by rageagnstmach on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:11:21 AM PDT

  •  Whte House, surrender? (0+ / 0-)

    It should be called the Surrender House.

    Stop the race to the bottom!

    by Paleo on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:23:45 AM PDT

  •  Stephen Lerner is living in an alternate universe (0+ / 0-)

    if he thinks the American Public will revolt against the Republican onslaught.  Push back a little here and there yes, but no broad resetting of the scale of equity in our lives.  We don't do that well.

  •  Gov't shutdown or... (0+ / 0-)

    EPA monitoring radiation from Japan?

  •  To Krugman: 20 percenters say it is our fault (0+ / 0-)

    Silly Nobel Laureate, how could you not understand that it is the voter's fault (and particularly us progressives) that the Whitehouse won't fight?  It has been explained to me by those "standing with Obama" that he has to cave to and endorse these GOP policies because conservadems lost the midterms.  Of course, they also explain that when we had the majorities we had to cave to them as well...   String theory probably explains this somehow, because classical logic never will.

    mmmm....hope y'all enjoy the fresh snark this morning.

    Renewing the Bush tax cuts was the ultimate sell out of a presidency without any scruples.

    by Celtic Pugilist on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:47:00 AM PDT

  •  Meteor... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vicky

    Krugman spent 95% of his column demolishing the Republican template for the way forward for the economy and you highlight only the 5% that he is critical of the Democrats?

    Why? Does this drive traffic here or something?
    Do you want people to ignore the idiocy of the Republican game plan and focus only on the Democrats failure?

    I am just curious. Is this just another form of FoxNewism here,targeting the same enemy...the democrats?

    Fair and balanced?.....sure.

    •  Oh puhleez. The lead in to the... (0+ / 0-)

      ...linked excerpt:

      Paul Krugman demolishes the GOP's doctrine of "expansionary austerity," but has a few words for the party that is supposed to be their foes...

      It is therefore ludicrous for you to insinuate that I want people to ignore the idiocy of the Republican game plan. And it's ludicrous to suggest that Krugman's concluding paragraphs aren't his conclusion.

      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 01:09:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That Melissa Harris-Perry article... (0+ / 0-)

    ...is powerful and well-done.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "If you think the other side is EVIL, you're part of the problem." -Chris Matthews

    by malharden on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 10:00:48 AM PDT

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