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Ben Nelson Shill For Conservative Stimulus Lies

Monday, February 02, 2009


Sen. Ben Nelson, a Blue-Dog Democrat if there ever was one, has been running around helping to spread the lies of the GOP regarding the stimulus package. What a moron.

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Conservatives' Profoundest Fear: What if Obama succeeds?

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars


Memo to Conservatives: You failed and are now irrelevant.

OK, I expect you'll ignore this memo like our previous ones. Nate Silver is right: Republicans are caught in a death spiral, and it's going to be awhile yet before they hit bottom.

Nowhere is it more self-evident than in the broad acknowledgment this week that the GOP is being led by a bilious radio talk-show host, and the ongoing fact that its most popular politician is a wingnutty, malinformed Alaska governor.

The unanimous refusal of House Republicans to vote in favor of Obama's stimulus plan may have given the Malkinites a stiffy, but all it really demonstrated was the utter impotence of Conservatives to have any say in how we proceed with fixing the economy.

And there's one real reason for that: They broke it. Their philosophy of governance, especially their feverish laissez-faire demolition of regulatory oversight, and their obscene enrich-the-rich approach to taxation, were the two overarching reasons for our current economic debacle. Of course they still want to blame minority lending for the plunge, but no one with serious money is bothering to listen any longer, because they know what the story is. And so do most Americans.

So Rush Limbaugh can pen all the worthless split-the-baby-in-two proposals for economic stimulus he likes, and House Republicans can toss out all the tax-cut-heavy alternatives they like. And no one will take them seriously, because we've heard these proposals before -- for the past eight years, in fact. They've been nothing but a recipe for failure and disaster. Why would anyone want to take that course now?

What's worse for Republicans is that not only have they not yet figured out how irrelevant they've become, they are even further from understanding the reasons for their irrelevance. They're in deep denial about the direct relationship between their philosophy and the current economic debacle, and even more so the extent to which the public is finding their pugnacious, vicious, attacking style of politics increasingly repellent....(Click for remainder).

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The Republican Death Spiral

By Nate Silver
FiveThirtyEight


It's not just the goose egg that the House Republicans laid on the Democratic stimulus package yesterday: Boehner's Boys have been equally uncooperative on other matters. Case in point: a bill yesterday to delay the transition to digital TV. This measure was approved unanimously by the Senate; every Senate Republican gave it the green light. But 155 out of 178 House Republicans voted against it, which resulted in the measure's defeat since a two-thirds majority would have been required for passage under the House's suspension of the rules.

Or, take the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a seemingly fairly popular/populist (if not inscrutable) piece of legislation on gender-based pay discrepancies. This was something that Barack Obama whacked John McCain on on the campaign trail, with McCain offering little rebuttal. In the Senate, five Republicans -- out of 41 -- voted with the Administration on Ledbetter, including all four Republican women. In the House, just three Republicans did -- out of 178.

Boenher and Eric Cantor have obviously done an impressive job of rallying their troops -- and Cantor, in particular, seems proud of his efforts. But what grander purpose does this strategy serve? The House Republicans are opposing popular legislation from a very popular President, and doing so in ways that stick a needle in the eye of the popular (if quixotic) concept of bipartisanship. They would seem to have little chance of actually blocking this legislation, since they are far short of a majority, and since the Senate Republicans, who can filibuster, have thus far shown little inclination to go along with them -- with moderates like Susan Collins of Maine and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire voting routinely with the Administration....(Click for remainder).

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Obama is More Popular than Reagan

By Nate Silver
FiveThirtyEight


Although Barack Obama defied our prediction of starting his term with a higher initial approval rating than John F. Kennedy, his 68 percent approval score (versus 12 percent disapproval) is nevertheless noteworthy in comparison with his recent predecessors:


This chart tracks the initial Gallup approval and disapproval ratings following the inaugurations of newly-elected presidents since Eisenhower; Truman, Johnson, and Ford, who took over following the death or resignation of their predecessors, are excluded.

The green and red lines represent the time trends established prior to this year (that is, they don't include the Obama data point). While newly-elected presidents tend always to begin their terms with fairly high approval metrics, this has been decreasingly true in recent years, perhaps a reflection of increased partisanship. Obama's initial approval rating, indeed, is the highest of any president since Kennedy. His initial disapproval rating, meanwhile, is about half that of his two most recent predecessors, although higher than that of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, and G.H.W. Bush, all of whom began with disapproval in the single digits....(Click for remainder).

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Barney Frank: The Largest Waste of Money Has Been Iraq

Rep. Barney Frank, on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, points out the utter hypocrisy of the GOPs bitching about the cost of the stimulus package. For the past eight years the the GOP has allowed unlimited funneling of tax payer dollars into the pit that is Iraq.

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