Overcast, dark and gloomy this Thursday morning on California’s north coast, but not as cold as yesterday.
No matter our weather, it ain’t nothing likeÂ the big stormÂ getting ready to blanket Middle America with more than a foot of snow, and along with that, added into the mix will be lightning and sleet showers — whoa!
In the storm HQ of the US — DC — there’s much crowing about the budget cuts coming up next week (March 1) and all the round of finger pointing, eyeball gouging and a general lack of competence from any source.
(Illustration found here).
Right at the end of the shortest month of the year, some real-dumb-ass financial cuts will supposedly be wielded across the US government, a move fostered up by nimble-brained Congressional brainetics to get away from the debt ceiling bullshit — the so-called Budget Control Act of 2011.
This was to be the ultimate incentive to Congress to get off its incompetent ass and do something.
And as par for the course, did nothingÂ except wring hands.
The big chopÂ will include 42.7 billion in defense cuts (a 9.4 percent cut); $28.7 billion in domestic discretionary cuts (a 8.2 percent cut); $9.9 billion in Medicare cuts (a 2 percent cut); $4 billion in other mandatory cuts (a 7.6 percent cut to non-defense programs, and a 10 percent cut to mandatory defense programs)-a total of $85.4 billion in cuts.
And reportedly, that includes about 2.14 million jobs lost, give or take a few hundred thousand, depending on the economic expert cited.
These bozos came up with the moniker “sequester,” which means to set apart, or separate. These assholes in Congress should be sequestered from their jobs and sent home.
And the horror of US governance, so says Charles Blow at the New York Times: And yet dumb, stupid and inane have become the three pillars of government now that strong-willed, dimwitted hard-liners who see compromise as a dirty word have infiltrated the halls of Congress.
Us normal, walking-around people really don’t know shitÂ about the fabled “sequester,” or what’s the big deal: The reality is, most Americans donâ€™t get whatâ€™s going on. The word â€œsequesterâ€ is hardly a part of everyday discourse. A poll published by The Hill newspaper on Feb. 11 found that only 36 percent of voters know what the sequester is.
Despite all the outcry over drones and being closed-mouthed about playing golf with Tiger Woods, President Obama is sitting high in the public’s cat-bird seat — via a new Bloomberg National poll:
Fifty-five percent of Americans approve of Obamaâ€™s performance in office, his strongest level of support since September 2009, according to a Bloomberg National poll conducted Feb. 15-18.
Only 35 percent of the country has a favorable view of the Republican Party, the lowest rating in a survey that began in September 2009.
The partyâ€™s brand slipped six percentage points in the last six months, the poll shows.
â€œThe Republicans are not offering any new solutions,â€ said poll respondent Cynthia Synos, 62, a political independent who lives in the St. Louis suburb of Greendale, Missouri.
â€œTheir answer is always tax cuts and incentives for business.
Iâ€™ve never heard them say anything innovative to spark the economy that would help the other 85, 90 percent of people that have to deal with the economy as it is.â€
Republicans â€œare not willing to work at all with the president,â€ said poll respondent Horace Lee Boyd, 64, a political independent and retired wholesale merchandiser who lives in Cullman, Alabama.
â€œWhen you cease to compromise, you cease to accomplish anything.
Weâ€™re at a stalemate.
Heâ€™s willing to compromise and they arenâ€™t.â€
John ‘The Boner’ Boehner claims Obama invented the ‘sequester,’ even said so in an op/edÂ in the Wall Street Journal this week, but the real point came from the GOP itself, a PowerPoint presentationÂ back in July 2011 reveals The Boner’s pants are on fire.
This can’t be easy on the ears for Republicans. The GOP can’t release gas correctly nowadays and are in a tight-fitting, cheap suit when it comes to the public reaction to their continous odorous shit.
E.J. Dionne Jr. in the Washington PostÂ and the upcomingÂ battle royal:
On the merits, Obama has public opinion in his corner.
His proposal to avoid the economic drag of the sequester with a reasonable amount of deficit reduction built on a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases through tax reform occupies the debateâ€™s broad middle ground.
If the GOP wanted, based on its past positions, it could take a deal of this sort and declare victory, given all the cuts that have already passed.
But that is not the victory the Republicans seek.
The sequester game is a contest in which their side wins simply by running out the clock, no matter what the score is.
Thus, Obama canâ€™t just score points.
He needs to figure out how to end this game so he can play the one he promised us when he said his reelection could â€œbreak the feverâ€ in Washington.
Alas, it has not broken yet.
The big clincher here, though, is the deep-reality of hardcase Republicans — they’re to blame.
Greg Sargent alsoÂ at the Washington PostÂ yesterday outlined details from a new study by Thomas Hungerford of the non-partisan Congressional Research Service that indicates the GOPÂ rich are still covering for the rich.
â€œBy far, the largest contributor to increasing income inequality (regardless of income inequality measure) was changes in income from capital gains and dividends,â€ the report concludes.
Or, as Hungerford put it in an interview with me: â€œThe reason income inequality has been increasing has been the rising income going to the top one percent. Most of that has come in capital gains and dividends.â€
This finding comes as even some conservatives are reckoning with the fact that the GOPâ€™s message on the sequester is deeply flawed.
Writer Byron York notes today that Republicans are openly conceding that the sequester will gut the military, even as they openly point to the sequester as an acceptable policy outcome.
As York argues, this has put Republicans in an â€œuntenable position.â€
If anything, that position is made worse by the new studyâ€™s finding.
After all, Republicans are openly conceding the sequester will damage our national security, even as they refuse to avert it by agreeing to the closing of loopholes benefiting the wealthy — even though this would likely be part of a deal in which they got more in spending cuts than theyâ€™d be conceding in new revenues!
As the new study shows, those benefiting from GOP opposition to any new revenues are doing extremely well indeed — lending more ammo to the Democratic argument that Republicans would sooner damage our military and economy than ask for a penny in new revenues from the very rich.
In times past, some would have their heads separated from the bodies for such cruel, nasty shit — we’re in a more civilized time, however, and the only separation will be cash from my pocket, and yours.